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Zellweger Shines as “Judy”

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

There have been several films and TV movies about Judy Garland and her sometimes troubled life, but in Judy a snippet of the final months of her life gives one last look at the “Over the Rainbow” wonder. Nicely directed and starring Renee Zellweger as the singer and actor, the movie Judy adds a nice farewell. I hear Oscar in the wind.

The year is 1969 and Judy Garland has contracted for a five-week run in London, England. Still struggling with the remnants of alcohol abuse, drug dependence and her fading singing career, she’s performing to sellout crowds at the Talk of the Town a huge theater with three tiers of seats. The film follows Garland as she struggles through her time in the famous city and yes also her mistakes.

Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland JUDY Photo credit David Hindley Courtesy of LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions

Through a wonderful performance by Renee Zellweger director Rupert Goold feeds his audience with Garland’s memorable songs and reveals to them the shining star in her darkest time. Actually singing Judy’s melodies for the camera, Renee uses all the nuances for which the legend was noted. Her walk, arms out streaked to the audience, the piano starts to play and we get to dream about the woman who once was the darling of the movies.

During the nearly two hours the film also includes her past with a nice performance as young Judy by Darci Shaw. She delivers the inquisitive young girl that would become Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She depicts Judy who was chosen for her performances in Vaudeville with her sisters and quickly the movie business opens a new world for her. It’s Darci’s first movie, but you wouldn’t believe it with this performance. She shows great promise for future roles and I hope there’s one out there for her.

Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland with Bella Ramsey as Lorna Luft and Lewin Lloyd as Joey Luft in JUDY Photo credit David Hindley Courtesy of LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions

Enjoyable and enlightening the movie Judy really pegged the essence of the icon from her thoughts of a comeback to the realization that this may be the end of her career. It’s a film you can’t go wrong with if you remember Judy. Still it’s also for those who like a good story that’s true.

Judy has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for substance abuse, thematic content, some strong language, and smoking.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Enjoy the movie, make it a date night. (4 out of 5 stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast:  Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon,
Directed by: Rupert Goold
Written by: Tom Edge
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, Music
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for substance abuse, thematic content, some strong language, and smoking
Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.
Opening Date: September 27, 2019
Distributed by: Roadside Attractions
Released in: Standard Color

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