There is a lot of chatter in Hollywood that the new movie Judy will rack up at the Oscars. Judy is a 2019 biographical drama film about the life of American singer and actress Judy Garland in 1969, as she arrives in London for a run of sell-out concerts at the Talk of the Town. Directed by Rupert Goold, it is an adaptation of the Olivier and Tony-nominated West End and Broadway play End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter. The film stars Renée Zellweger as Garland, with Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon in supporting roles.
Most of us grew up watching The Wizard of Oz which introduced us to a young inspiring actress, Judy Garland. Her voice was magical and her quirky mannerisms made us learn to love her for who she really was. Garland had big dreams but even realizing her dreams just never filled her emotional voids. Like many other aspiring actresses, her journey came to an end way too soon. She accidentally died from an overdose of barbiturates at the age of 47. Ironically, in The Wizard of Oz Garland experienced a tornado that swept up her family home and changed her life. In real life, a tornado of extreme anxiety coupled with alcoholism was more than she could mentally and physically endure. Just one instance portrayed in the film is when she is forced to move to London leaving her children and husband behind.
Zellweger gives a stunningly accurate portrayal of Garland managing to mimic her many happy moments along with her downward spirals. Garland was a product of growing up in Hollywood with all the pressures to succeed while making bad choices and inappropriate behavior. Her self-image was influenced and constantly criticized by film executives who believed that she was physically unattractive. We see moments in the film of betrayal by those she thought she could rely on.
During a career that spanned 45 years, Garland attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a juvenile Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Special Tony Award. Garland was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her live recording Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961).
The movie makes you ache for Garland as you witness her inspiration and then feel her commonly experienced heartaches. It has been said by critics that when Zellweger sings, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” everyone will feel Garland. In her first musical turn since Chicago, she sings live and does such an uncanny job of channeling Garland’s performative strengths that she’s practically communing with Garland’s ghost.
Renee’ Zellweger is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards. Zellweger was one of the highest-paid actresses in the world by 2007 and was named Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year in 2009. Zellweger also starred in many films including Cold Mountain, Jerry McGuire, and Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Ref. Wikipedia, collider.com, indiewire.com
Photo courtesy of Bing via nationalenquirer.com