Film Review: JUDY (UK 2019) ***

Judy Poster
Trailer

Director: Rupert Goold

Writers:

Tom Edge (screenplay by), Peter Quilter (based on the stageplay “End of the Rainbow” by)

Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival just last September to a standing ovation likely because Oscar Winner Renée Zellweger was present, JUDY makes its debut in theatres just two weeks after.   Oscar winner Renée Zellweger delivers a note-perfect performance (she reportedly sang all the songs herself) as Judy Garland during the last year of her life.   When one thinks of Judy Garland, one thinks good times like THE WIZARD OF OZ and the famous song “Over the Rainbow”, but those expecting a feel-good movie will be out of luck.  In fact, the first song sung by Garland occurs after 40 minutes of screen time.  The film is based on the Peter Quilter’s stage play “End of the Rainbow” which is pretty grim.

The film shifts to and fro, intercutting from Judy during the last year her life to the days where she was just 16 working at MGM Studios for MGM head, Louis B. Mayer.  Two aspects of Judy’s life are portrayed and both heavily involve performances.

For the 16-year old, Judy is shown to be raised on film sets and nearly every aspect of her life — from what she could eat to who she could date to what drugs she should take — was dictated by MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer.  Mayer is shown just short of being as nasty as Harvey Weinstein.  Judy became a wondrously gifted movie star who never learned to take care of herself.

When the film opens, the audience first sees Judy a middle-aged, homeless, broke, embroiled in a custody battle, and all but blacklisted in Hollywood.  She is kicked out of the hotel is is staying at and she is left homeless with two children.  She docks them off at her ex, Sid (Rufus Sewell).  In a bid to regain some control of her career, she accepts a residency at a London theatre. She refuses to rehearse and, crippled by anxiety, insomnia, and alcoholism, can barely make it to the stage opening night. But once there, in the spotlight, before an eager audience, microphone in hand and a crackerjack band at the ready, she’s suddenly at home. And it’s magic.  But not all the time.  One scene has her collapse on stage and another being heckled but the audience and then boo’ed off after she loses it and insults the audience.  These are not pleasant scenes to watch.

Though based on a play, the film does not feel like one, owing primarily to the frequent intercutting of Judy in her last year and Judy when young.  Unfortunately, the film falls into cliched territory with the expected manager that uses her, her bout with alcohol and her descent from fame.  There is little insight or background about Judy Garland that is provided.  JUDY can best be described as a play about Judy Garland than a biopic.

The film has a few solid moments.  The best of these is Judy’s chance encounter with a couple of gay admirers.  They sing with Judy and reminisce of the times when they were arrested for gay behaviour.  Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minelli are gay icons.

JUDY is an ok watch aided by a solid performance by Renée Zellweger but do not expect too much and you will not be disappointed.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU2GJwkH71M

Happy Birthday: Renée Zellweger

reneezellweger.jpgHappy Birthday actor Renée Zellweger

Born: Renée Kathleen Zellweger
April 25, 1969 in Katy, Texas, USA

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

cate_blanchettTOP 20 RENEE ZELLWEGER Movies

videoWATCH – TOP 20 RENEE ZELLWEGER VIDEOS
movie posterJERRY MAGUIRE
1996
dir. Cameron Crowe
Starring:
Tom Cruise
Renee Zellweger

MOVIE POSTERBRIDGET JONES’S DIARY
2001
dir. Sharon Maguire
Stars:
Renee Zellweger
Gemma Jones


MOVIE POSTERCHICAGO
2002
dir. Rob Marshall
Starring:
Renee Zellweger
Catherine Zeta-Jones

COLD MOUNTAIN
2003
dir. Anthony Minghella
Stars:
Jude Law
Nicole Kidman

SHARK TALE
2004
dir. Bibo Bergeron
Vicky Jenson
Stars:
Will Smith
Robert DeNiro
movie reviewsCINDERELLA MAN
2005
dir. Ron Howard
Stars:
Russell Crowe
Renee Zellweger

MOVIE POSTERMISS POTTER
2006
dir. Chris Noonan
Stars:
Renee Zellweger
Ewan McGregor


Bee Movie
2007
Directed by Steve Hickner
Simon J. Smith
Voices
Jerry Seinfeld
Zellweger
LeatherheadsLeatherheads
2008
dir. Clooney
Starring
George Clooney
Zellweger
AppaloosaAppaloosa
2008
dir. Ed Harris
Starring
Ed Harris
Viggo Mortensen
Zellweger

MONSTERS VS ALIENSMonsters VS Aliens
2009
dir. Rob Letterman
Conrad Vernon
Voices by
Seth Rogan
Reece Witherspoon

SEE TOP 100 RENEE ZELLWEGERS

2014

and Bradley Cooper

and Chris O’Donnell

and Colin Firth

and Doyle Bramhall

and Ellen Pompeo

and Ewan McGregor

and George Clooney

and Hugh Grant

and Jack White

and Jennifer Lawrence

and Jim Carrey

and Kenny Chesney

and Meryl Streep

and Nicole Kidman

and Russell Crowe

and Tom Cruise

as Beatrix Potter

as Bridget Jones

as Mae Braddock

as Roxie Hart

as Ruby Thewes

Back

Bangs

Beautiful

Bedroom

Before and After

Bikini

Black Dress

Blonde Hair

Blue Dress

Body

Bunny

Butt

Chicago Hairstyle

Curly Hair

Dark Hair

Elle

Esquire

Eyebrows

Eyes

Face

Fashion

Feet

Glamour

Glasses

Gold Dress

Green Dress

Gun

Hairstyle

Heels

in Appaloosa

in Bee Movie

in Bridget Jones Dairy

in Chicago

in Cinderella Man

in Cold Mountain

in Down With Love

in Leatherheads

in Me, Myself and Irene

in Miss Potter

in My One and Only

in New in Town

in Nurse Betty

in One True Thing

in Shark Tale

in The Bachelor

in White Oleandor

INStyle

Jeans

Legs

Lingerie

Marie Claire

Measurements

Naked

Nose

Oscar Win

Photo Shoot

Pink Dress

Pretty

Quote

Red Carpet

Red Dress

Red Hair

Running

Self

Sexy

Silver Dress

Skinny

Smile

Street Fashion

Stretching

Style

Teeth

Vogue

W Magazine

Wallpaper

Wardrobe Malfunction

Wedding Day

Young