*”Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” added to its awards-season momentum Wednesday earning a leading eight nominations from the 41st annual NAACP Image Awards.      

       The film, about an abused Harlem teen who finds hope in a classroom of misfits, earned nods for director Lee Daniels, star Gabourey Sidibe and supporting actors Mariah Carey, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton and Lenny Kravitz.       

       “Precious” was also nominated for outstanding independent film and outstanding motion picture against “Invictus,” “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “The Blind Side” and “The Princess and the Frog.”      

        “Blind Side” stars Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron, “Princess” star Anika Noni Rose and “Invictus” star Morgan Freeman also were nominated for their performances.      

       Sophie Okonedo (“Skin”) and Taraji P. Henson (“Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself”) round out the best actress category, while Denzel Washington (“The Taking of Pelham 123”), Idris Elba (“Obsessed”) and Jamie Foxx (“Law Abiding Citizen”) are up for best actor.   The Image Awards honoring diversity in the arts will be presented Feb. 26 and broadcast live on Fox.