Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Biography - Whoopi Goldberg|
Genres: Television, Documentary
A look at the career of the comic and actress who took Hollywood by storm in Ghost and The Color Purple, but whose off-color language and liberal politics have drawn storms of protest. Interviewed in a New York theater, Wh... more »
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 02/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Whoopi is incredibly talented and versatile, so I wish her well. This documentary also did a great job in covering most of the important points and explaining how and why she is so successful. Still!
This documentary is mostly a sit-down session with Whoopi. Lots of others are present, but it's mostly, mostly, mostly her. The interviewees are incredibly diverse in terms of gender, race, age, and sexuality. When even Elmo is an interviewee, then you know they are diverse. Whoopi's daughter looks like Prince's former dance Cat Glover, in my opinion. Mo'Nique is interviewed here and she always gives wonderful, insightful comments. Though married thrice, this work almost never shows photos of Whoopi's husbands.
The work shows Whoopi as a child and she had eyebrows. The work never explains where her eyebrows went. Whoopi said people would gasp at her dreadlocks. I have dreadlocks, but I understand how they could stop an actor. You can't do period pieces and certain other things with them. That's why Busta Rhymes cut his off. I've seen Whoop in Sears Tower-sized wigs and it's because she is trying to hide her dreadlocks and I always feel that tackiness is the pink elephant in the room when it comes to her.
The biography series often downplays a subject's liberalism, but they did not hide Whoopi's progressivism. I think she and I are on the same page on many issues. Still, there are valid critiques of her that don't come up. For example, author Alice Walker was horrified when she heard Whoopi say she is not Black or a woman. Many progressive film critiques have understandably condemned Whoopi for always playing the Black woman who makes white characters' lives better but has no other purpose. This work doesn't mention that Whoopi encouraged Ted Danson to perform in blackface. It upset many African Americans, including the late LA mayor, and Whoopi showed no empathy with that anger. Though I respect Whoopi for being herself, I can't really say she has opened doors for others to do the same. Like author Dan Brown, she created a space in which she will probably be the only one to inhabit.
This work emphasizes her youth and pre-famous days. "The Color Purple" doesn't come up until 2/5 of the way in. Biography often uses a dull routine: "This famous actor did this role and this is how the movie fared, then they did that role, and here's the commercial result." Luckily, this documentary is not a dull tread of Whoopi's filmography.
Again, I respect her, but there is some salt in that sugar, as it was said in the film "The Color Purple.""
Not the Whole Story
Jean Givens | Albuquerque, NM, USA | 01/09/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"While I'm a fan of the Biography Channel and their ensuing DVDs, I'd hoped for a more realistic presentation of Whoopi Goldberg's life. It glossed over many of the basic facts of her life that make her who she is. This is why I read the person's own biography on many occasions before I watch the show. In the last few years, Biography Channel has leaned a little more to presenting a more choreographed version, instead of the facts. Presenting years of the individual's life in one sentence, is not the way to go. Thank you."