Whoopi Goldberg

REVIEW: Time Out (2018)

When inmate Joan Anderson (Melissa Leo) is granted one weekend out of prison to see her dying mother, rookie correction officer Nicole Stevens (Tessa Thompson) struggles to keep her under control.

Time Out (or Furlough as it was apparently originally called) is a comedy drama that doesn’t really have any decent comedy in it. Leo and Thompson play the typical odd couple roles, Leo’s Anderson is carefree and impulsive and is more than happy to take advantage of her naïve caretaker, while Thompson’s Stevens is straightlaced and stressed about this assignment and the fact that she’s leaving her forgetful mother (Whoopi Goldberg) at home alone. This duo doesn’t really have the chemistry that you need to make this kind of dynamic work. Anderson comes off as super self-centred for the majority of the film, and then when it tries to add some depth to her character it feels cheap.

While not the focus of the film, I did like the relationship between Nicole and her mother. While it’s not explicitly stated what condition her mother has, as someone who has multiple relatives live with dementia, I think that’s clear that’s what the screenwriter and Goldberg’s performance was going for. It really captured how a carer gets no time for themselves, even when they’re supposed to be working, and the frustrations of having to answer the same questions over and over again. I especially liked the entitlement of Nicole’s sister Brandy (La La Anthony) when she had to look after their mother for one weekend when Nicole has been doing it every hour of every day for who knows how long previously.

That side plot aside, the plot of Time Out is very generic and predictable. A lot of the “comedic” moments are more cringey than anything else, and personally I didn’t laugh once. Melissa Leo and Tessa Thompson are both incredibly talented actresses, but they are both given little to do here and nothing about their characters or performances really stands out. 2/5.

G is for Whoopi Goldberg

whoopigoldbergI grew up watching Whoopi Goldberg. Some of my mum’s favourite films (and so they became my favourites and a big part of my childhood) were Ghost (1990), Sister Act (1992) and its sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993). I still love all those films and Whoopi Goldberg’s performances. I’ve seen them so many times I can quote the lines and I was so happy when I got older and learnt that she won an Oscar for her role in Ghost. I have The Color Purple (1985) on DVD and have been meaning to watch it since I read the book a few months ago but I haven’t got around to it yet – I’ve heard that Whoopi is brilliant in it.

How can you forget Whoopi Goldberg’s voice work as the hyena Shenzi in The Lion King?! I always liked the hyenas even though they were the “bad guys” and Shenzi was totally the boss and my favourite.

Whoopi Goldberg will forever be one of my favourite actresses because of the impact she had on my childhood. I love her comedic and dramatic balance in her film roles and if I ever need to smile I just watch any of her opening segments at the four different Oscars that she hosted!