Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.
One would expect that a truly legendary and iconic actress / singer / dancer like Judy Garland would be enjoying the fruits of her long time successful career, and the accolades of her adoring fans, who would be lining up to buy tickets to see her perform. Alas, Garland's life eptomized the Hollywood cautionary tale of child stars.
Despite massive talent, and amazing work ethic, alcohol, prescription drugs, bad husband choices, despicable studio bosses, and an even worse mother, gave her little chance to bypass tragedy.
Renee clearly did her homework, nailing the nuances of Garland's personality, trooper attitude, eccentric stage mannerisms, and distinctive vocals - The buy-in to Renee as Judy was immediate and never wavered.
Brief flashbacks take us back to production of "The Wizard of Oz" whose namesake himself couldn't save Judy from the Mother from Hell or the Boss From Hell (Louis B Mayer), for just the right amount of time to give the story supporting background fill.
This is largely a spotlight film role for Renee, fitting for the part of Judy Garland whose spotlighted roles carried films.
Renee delivers to the audience a still enthusiastic, but destitute and barely "functional alcoholic" Judy Garland who still has her trade-mark trooper-attitude pragmatism, but is desperately trying to earn enough money to just have a place to sleep for her children and ends up taking the only gig she can get (In London where her fandom still burns bright and large) that gives her hope to earn enough money to right her sinking ship, and retain custody of her children back in America after her 4th divorce.
Judy's final tragic journey in her life is a roller coaster of desperation and sad realizations.
Renee hits one out of the park (and over the rainbow) putting forth what is clearly the best Lead Actress performance of the year thus far, earning her a 10/10, and elevating 'Judy' to an overall 8/10. Bravo
- Oct 29, 2019