Certificate 12A

(2019) 118 mins

Director: Rupert Goold
Writers: Tom Edge, Peter Quilter
Cinematography: Ole Bratt Birkeland
Production Design: Kave Quinn
Music: Gabriel Yared



Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland (Renee Zellweger) arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock), her soon-to-be fifth husband. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.”  From the official website

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Zellweger gives a fearless performance in this movie. She captures the essence of Garland with such immersive nuance that the line between the actor and the role doesn’t only disappear, it’s as if it never existed. The inflection in her voice when making a self-deprecating joke, the way she sits in a chair smoking a cigarette, the incessant fidgeting and theatrical gestures, the reference to everyone as “darling,” the slouching posture onstage – it all seems so natural, so far removed from mimicry. That Zellweger had the audacity to decide to actually sing the standards in Garland’s act, rather than lip-synch them, and then perform them with such bravado in a voice eerily channeling Garland is the real icing on the cake here. In Judy, a star is reborn.”  Austin Chronicle

Zellweger might not quite have pipes of Garland (who has?) but she captures her spirit in its paradoxical power and fragility – proving to be considerably more than just a the walking tragedy she is often presented as. She captures Garland’s body language perfectly off-stage, filled with a fidgety anxiety but still, when the mood takes her – as it does with her soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans – more than able to turn the charm up to stun levels. “  Eye for Film

Judy doesn’t add anything new to the Judy Garland myth, but it rehearses the star’s woebegone existence with affection and aplomb.”  The Upcoming

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