Monday, November 23, 2009 | 01:17 PM
Mariah Carey's gutsy portrayal of a social worker in the film 'Precious' has garnered the pop diva some much-needed attention from movie critics. Most recently the Palm Springs International Film Festival announced Carey will be presented with a Breakthrough Performance Award early next year. Festival organizers praise Carey for her ability to transform from "a glamorous music icon to a forthright social worker." Previous "Breakthrough" recipients include Jennifer Hudson and Marion Cotilliard. Carey's acting debut in the movie Glitter (1998) bombed at the box office. The festival gala will take place in Palm Springs on January 5th.