Furlough (2018)

  • Time: 83 min
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director: Laurie Collyer
  • Cast: Tessa Thompson, Anna Paquin, Whoopi Goldberg, Edgar Ramírez


When an inmate is granted one weekend out of prison to see her dying mother, a rookie correction officer struggles to keep her under control.

One comment

  • With talent like Melissa Leo and Tessa Thompson, one would hope that Furlough would be engaging. Yet the 48 Hours meets Midnight Run comedy drama is a disappointment, banal and sitcom-ish, and an absolute waste of its leading ladies’ talents.

    Thompson plays Nicole, a part-time corrections officer for an upstate New York prison. She has an older sister (La La Anthony), who has no compunction leaving the care of their mother (Whoopi Goldberg) to Nicole. Wanting a full-time job at the prison, Nicole reluctantly agrees to accompany a longtime inmate on a 36-hour journey to visit her ailing mother. That inmate is fifty-something Joan (Melissa Leo), a tattooed, cornrowed high spirit who is very much the yang to Nicole’s yin. Predictably, trouble ensues once Joan convinces Nicole to uncuff her hands and legs.

    Screenwriter Barry Strugatz creates one contrivance after another. Joan uses a train delay in Manhattan to coax Nicole into getting a bite to eat at a local restaurant. The meal is followed by a visit to a hair salon so Joan can be more presentable to her mother. Then there’s the jaunt into a sex addicts therapy meeting where Joan meets a hunky vet (Edgar Ramirez) with whom she steals away some time to put the sex swing in his apartment to good use. Eventually, the two women end up at their intended destination, where the true nature of Joan’s upbringing is revealed and a secret or two unearthed.

    Unfortunately, neither Leo nor Thompson can do much to hold viewer interest in a story as limply told as this. The friction between Joan and Nicole is sketched at best, the attempts at humour are mostly unsuccessful, and even the more dramatic moments that take place between different set of mothers and daughters are without purpose.

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