Thirty years after rising to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, showbiz legend Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) arrives in London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. While preparing for the shows, Garland battles with management, reminisces with friends and adoring fans, and embarks on a whirlwind romance with soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans — all while bravely struggling to overcome intensifying anxiety and physical decline. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the unyielding spirit and matchless talent of “the world’s greatest entertainer.”
What We Thought:
Renée Zellweger has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in Judy and after seeing the movie I understand why. I expect a Best Actress Oscar nomination to follow. I’ve never really been a fan of hers, but she’s good in this as the iconic Judy Garland.
The biopic shows an aged Garland towards the end of her life/career. She’s in a full blown downward spiral dealing with financial issues, alcoholism, her children and more. It also shows a younger Garland during her time filming The Wizard of Oz and how the studio treated her. I’ll be honest, I was actually more interested in that storyline than the older Zellweger storyline.
I think because I already knew about Garland’s tragic end I knew what to expect. That doesn’t make the performance any less award worthy, but if you know Garland had issues with the drink and more, you kind of already know where it’s going. I would have preferred more about how she was treated, wasn’t allowed to eat or act like a normal kid by MGM. It’s that mistreatment (and maybe more) that would lead to her issues as an adult. We see how child stars end up today, well Garland may have been the first. She was given pills to stop her appetite and to sleep, was photographed with certain people to help her image, was called ugly and it even hints that she may been touched inappropriately as well. Plus her money was mismanaged forcing her to tour and work later in life when she wanted to be at home with her kids. That’s the story I wanted more of.
Judy does what it should have done, showed Judy Garland as the performer she was. Even in bad health, she still took to the stage and delivered the hits. Sure some nights the booze took over more, but Zellweger gives the viewer the iconic Garland in the proper way without hiding the horrors. I’m glad they didn’t sugarcoat too much because Garland died at age 47 because of what she did to herself for all different kinds of reasons. Because of that performance Zellweger will be a lock for a Best Lead Actress nomination at the Academy Awards. If you are a fan of hers, a fan of Judy Garland or even old Hollywood, then check out the film.
- “From the Heart: The Making of Judy”
- Judy Image Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer