Judy (2019) Poster

(II) (2019)

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Zellweger gives best performance in years
johnhandsome-3265828 September 2019
With Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland, you can not only feel her and see her, but you forget Zellweger is even there at all. Like many great performances, you see the character and forget that there is even an actor. Watching her performance is like watching a cosmic display. Some things are just meant to happen.

There have been many so-so bio-pics as of late, most comparably Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, in which another great actress, Benning, portrays the troubled last days of another great actress, Graham. Comparably, Zellweger's performance outshines the more renowned Benning. By contrast, Liverpool is also jaggedly uneven. That's not to say that Judy is perfect. Music bios are tough. Rami supposedly was great in Bohemian Rhapsody, but the film encompassed a superficial sentiment and lacked intellectual curiosity. Control, the Joy Division piece, is maybe the best in recent years... But Judy is right up there.

The story covers her last gig in London. The film uses flashbacks in order for the audience to understand her character. While most of those around her only see a washed up star, who was just forty seven.

What the story lacks in structure, it makes up with warmth. While this is a softer portrait, it still feels authentic. It finds no purpose in portraying her issues with callousness. Instead the narrative depends on Garland trying to understand herself, while making poor choice after poor choice. If you know anything about Garland, you know where she is going... But what you may not know, is she how she arrived there. It is a deeply sentimental portrait of a brilliant mind and troubled heart.

There have been some cynics saying that "Only a fool would try to play Garland." Dare, I say, Zellweger just made a fool out of you.

See this movie, it will remind you of yourself.
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Zellweger is Oscar-worthy, the film not so much.
jdesando24 September 2019
"I used to listen to Judy Garland all the time - I love Judy Garland and her music. But I started to realize that if you keep singing like that, singing songs of being victimized by love over and over and over again, it can't help but have a profound effect on your life." Diane Keaton

"Judy" is the saddest movie of the year, and a top contender for all time. The last year of Judy Garland's (Renee Zellweger) life before she overdosed on drugs are depicted with a surgeon's accuracy, and the days are counted in despair over her addictions and most of all the separation from her children. Nothing much is pretty, and most is desperate.

Not that I expect the docudrama should be a musical; it should at least be entertaining even in a dark way. To see this iconic entertainer holding a formidable place in the hearts of everyone who has been moved by the whimsy and hope of The Wizard of Oz is to get too much despair after almost two relentless hours of depression.

There is no wizard here, just Louis B. Mayer plying Judy with rhetoric and pills to keep her going through the many pictures she would do after her Oz triumph. She continues getting artificial help long after as she performs not for pleasure but to make enough to keep her children, ironically forcing her at the end to London, that adoring town, but without her kids.

The drama is punctuated by songs, sung expertly by Zellweger, and by her Oscar-worthy performance. But, of course, her voice is not Garland's, nor is anyone's. However, without the insight into her talent and formative years, it's just a gifted Renee imitating the tics of a diva diving to her death at 47.

Thank goodness for a subplot involving two gay fans and their evening with her. It's endearing and the best way to show how she impacted those on the margins of society. The final scene when she sings Rainbow involves the gay duo and is hokey but effectively sentimental and lyrical like the song itself.

Because most of us have grown used to idolizing Judy Garland, the film has a special mandate to show the formation of her formidable career and not just her desperate denouement so that we can enjoy her and understand her better. I propose the next Judy pic be a docudrama about the first half of her life. Now that would be only partially sad.

"I think without a doubt there will never be a voice like Judy Garland." Mickey Rooney
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Outstanding Renee Zellweger sure to get Best Actress Oscar nomination
paul-allaer28 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Judy" (2019 release; 118 min.) is a bio-pic about Judy Garland. As the movie opens, we are on the set of "The Wizard of Oz", and Judy is getting lectured by creepy ol' studio boss Louis Meyer. We then go to the present (i.e. the late 60s), where Judy can't afford her Hollywood hotel suite and is in essence homeless. Out of sheer desperation, she and her 2 kids end up at Syd, one of her ex-husbands (yes, she has multiple). When a lucrative offer arrives for a series of shows in London, she reluctantly accepts, as her kids are left with her ex... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is a multi-country co-production, and directed by British director Robert Goold, best known for his stage work in London, but he did direct the excellent film "True Story" a few years ago. Here he and the production team are bringing a Hollywood legend's waning years and youth to the big screen, so in certainly isn't covering Garland's entire life. Only 2 eras are covered: when she was 15-16, and her London 'comeback' in early 69. In that sense this is not a traditional bio-pic. Is everything that we see on the big screen an accurate reflection of July's life? I haven't the faintest idea. Most of the film plays out in London, and what we see is a frail woman who is world famous yet ever so lonely. She doesn't know who to trust as people left and right are riding Judy's coattails. And what about her youth at MGM? Even then she was manipulated, intimidated, abused, and taken advantage of (the scenes with Louis Mayer are revealing. Of course, we are watching a movie, with full of performances, and hence it needs to be pointed that Renee Zellweger is absolutely astonishing (and almost not recognizable) in the title role. She IS Judy Garland. Now age 50 (and hence perfectly well place to play the then-47 year old Garland), Zellweger brings a career-defining performance, period. On top of that, she does all of her own singing, and does it quite well. I am gong on record that Zellweger will get a Best Actress Oscar nomination for this, I have no doubt about it.

"Judy" premiered at the recent Telluride film festival to immediate acclaim, and the film opened this weekend on not one but two screens of my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was PACKED, I am happy to report. In some of the more moving scenes of the movie, you could hear a pin drop in the theater. If you have any interest in Judy Garland, or are simply a fan of Renee Zellweger, I would readily recommend that you check this out, be it in the theater, or VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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Oscar Worthy Performance
djbear8829 September 2019
What a heart-wrenching performance by Renee Zellweger. At times I had to remind myself that this wasn't Judy Garland. Stardom is not always glamorous. The end scene and closing credits were so moving.
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Renee Zellweger
zippyut30 September 2019
I am not a big fan of Renee Zellweger, but boy did she blow me away. Her performance was flawless! Her singing was right on spot! I really enjoyed the story line. The way the film flashed between WIZARD OF OZ Judy and the London Judy was very well done. It really tied the beginning and end of Judy's career together.
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Very Sad but impressive movie
lkeve29 September 2019
There is not much happy going on here. The performances are amazing. Just to displease other comments... Mickey Rooney is in the movie twice. This is just a wow that somebody so well loved could have been so emotionally tortured by herself and other. Great work on the entire movie from cast to production.
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Very worthwhile look at the life of Judy Garland.
TxMike31 August 2019
My wife and I watched this at home on BluRay from our public library. Renee really does give an award-quality performance. And she did in fact win the Oscar for Best Actress.

Who has never seen "The Wizard of Oz"? What would that movie be without Judy Garland as Dorothy? The early but difficult stages of a very significant career.

In this new biopic Renée Zellweger gives one of her better performances as Judy Garland, and her singing is very appropriate. She won the Golden Globe for Best Actress. While biopics don't have lots of latitude, if they follow the factual life of the subject, they can be done dryly or they can be done with a spark. This one has that spark.

One spark I really enjoyed was when a couple of men, fans, encountered her after a London performance, just the three of them in the alley. She innocently asks if they want to go get food with her, they all end up in the apartment cooking eggs. That was Judy, off stage just another human willing to connect with ordinary people.

This movie is a very worthwhile look at the life of Judy Garland, focusing both on her early years and mostly on her last year when she died in 1969 at the age of 47. See it for Judy, or see it for Renee, or see it for both. It is a memorable movie of a memorable singer.
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Zellweger IS Judy Garland
gortx28 September 2019
Sometimes an entire movie boils down to a lead performance, and JUDY is one of those examples. Fortunately, Renee Zellweger is more than up to to the challenge. Zellweger does more than just an imitation here - sure, the ticks and mannerisms that have been copied and parodied for decades are all on display, but, the actress goes for, and largely, attains several more layers. The script follows the "Last Days" scenario seen in so many bio-pics. The doomed character. The flashbacks. The final triumph. The various side characters who represent assorted people throughout that person's life etc. etc.. Still Zellweger is strong enough to overcome most of the cliches. The rest of the cast does well, but outside of Jessie Buckley as her London assistant, they don't get much to do (Michael Gambon in particular has, almost literally, nothing to do). The Production, music (nice to hear a new Gabriel Yared score), and, most critically, the makeup and hair all work to give us a fairly convincing glimpse of Garland's final months in 1969. Theater Director Rupert Goold keeps the viewer focused on his main character despite some melodramatic passages in Tom Edge's screenplay (based on Peter Quilter's play). The nicest touch is a scene with a male couple (Andy Nyman and Daniel Cerqueira) get to spend a night hosting Judy in London. It's a warm human moment that also pays homage to Garland's relationship with the gay community (a status that she bequeathed to her daughter Liza). Zellweger delivers a strong performance that keeps JUDY moving along, if not always smoothly.
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brianweaver29 September 2019
Wow, what a performance by Renee Zellweger! She obviously did her homework to bring Judy to life on the screen!
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Judy movie review
pedroborges-9088115 June 2020
The history of actors, especially the young ones, being extremely controlled and abused by the industry is a very strong material for a movie, but not really explored here as it could be, because even with the flashbacks scenes the movie is more focused on a certain period of Judy Garland life, is not really a biopic, like the title suggests. There was so much more they could tell.

Renée Zellweger performance is great, but the rest of the history and characters are kinda weak.
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Here's to JUDY! We will never see the likes of her again.
thursdaysrecords18 September 2019
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of her passing, this is a sparkling, yet honest closer look at the legendary 1968 "Talk of the Town" engagement, the promising effort for a physically and emotionally exhausted Judy Garland to reignite her fading career. Renee Zellweger has not only literally transformed into the mature Judy Garland, but also delivers impressive singing performances. The script, costumes and sets take the audience on a virtual trip back into the last days of the ultimate performer's life.

Somewhere over the rainbow...Judy looks down and smiles. There will never be another Judy Garland, but Renee Zellweger's portrayal comes pretty close.
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Loved it!
Kenkeller-98-62055330 September 2019
This was a highly entertaining movie and it brought back memories I had of watching Judy Garland on various television variety shows when I was growing up. I've always been a fan of RZ and I appreciated the fact that she did all the singing for the film. I recommend this movie.
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Zellweger shines, but storyline has too many blind spots
Art Snob23 September 2019
I caught this film at this year's TIFF, and can confirm the raves for Renee Zellweger's performance as Judy Garland -- it definitely is one of the year's best. But I had problems with the film overall. There's just too much left out to make for a legitimate biopic.

The biggest omission: daughter Liza Minelli. At the time depicted in this movie, she was 23, already making movies, and on a career trajectory that would result in an Oscar three years later (before her career admittedly went off a cliff). But here she pretty much doesn't exist - only Garland's two later children do.

And when you reflect upon it, there's a lot more missing in this film. It also treats the period between Garland's Wizard of Oz/Andy Hardy MGM days and her final gig doing a London stage show in 1969 as a big blank, even though there were successes along the way well into the 60's, including two Oscar nominations and a Grammy award for Album of the Year. (Also a short-lived television show where she did a memorable duet with a 21-year-old Barbara Streisand.) Considering the range of celebrities she worked with, the opportunities for quality namedropping are limitless - but aside from Mickey Rooney, there's a pronounced lack of it

There are problems with inclusion as well. In real life, Garland had so many gay admirers that she gave rise to the "FOD" (Friends of Dorothy) acronym as slang for gays. In the movie, this angle is treated in very shorthand fashion by two completely fictional gay admirers of her London shows.

The film reminded me a lot of JACKIE from 2016, where Natalie Portman played Jackie Kennedy. Her performance was certainly Oscar-worthy -- and she did get nominated - but I had problems with the presentation, particularly how Kennedy's funeral was depicted as a national day of mourning. Zellweger is similarly a nomination lock riding in a flawed vehicle.
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RinoBortone911 January 2020
Everything is based on the masterful interpretation of Renée Zellweger that takes us deep within Judy Garland's mind and past, to her past, to her was present and to her was future. A touching, strong and undoubtedly moving perspective. The film lacks a little emphasis and important background stories, I mean more lenght and more deepining about the childhood story of Judy couldn't be that bad, but despite the "small" things, the film is an excellent perspective on the life of a victim of the system (although it was a unique talent) and apart from Zellweger, you will find unique environments, lines and atmospheres for a film of genre that is always risky to manage. Good job and certainly the best and deepest performance of Renée Zellweger in her career.
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Zellwegger is invisible
drjgardner28 September 2019
Renee Zellwegger is one of my contemporary favorite actresses, but Judy Garland is my all-time favorite entertainer, so it's with great trepidation that I went to see "Judy". After all, Zellwegger neither looks, acts, nor sounds like Garland and Garland was distinctive in all those areas. Big Surprise. Zellwegger is so good she disappears and for nearly 2 hours I thought I was watching Judy Garland, My only criticism is the use of Zellwegger's voice, which is certainly strong, but when you have a film about a woman who had one of the greatest voices of all time, Zellwegger doesn't hold up. Would it have been so bad to use Garland's voice?
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that last year
ferguson-627 September 2019
Greetings again from the darkness. It's been 80 years since THE WIZARD OF OZ was released and 50 years since Judy Garland died. So why do we still care so much? Of course the obvious reason is that, for many generations, her adventures as Dorothy Gale from Kansas marked the first time many of us kids could put ourselves in the shoes (mine weren't ruby sparkles) of a lead character in a movie. Her fantastical journey ignited our imaginations and whisked us away to fight witches and flying monkeys, while making wonderful friends in a corn patch and enchanted forest. Oh, and that voice! However, there is another side to this coin. Judy's story is also an example of the dark and tarnished side of Hollywood ... she pulled back more than one curtain.

Renee Zellweger (Oscar winner for COLD MOUNTAIN, 2003) stars as Judy Garland, and her performance will likely put her in line for her fourth Oscar nomination. The film basically covers the last year of Judy's life, and director Rupert Goold (TRUE STORY, 2015) is working from a script by Tom Edge adapted from Peter Quilter's stage play, "End of the Rainbow". There is no Lollipop Guild here. Instead, the harsh realities of Judy's life are explored. The film opens with Judy and her kids, Joe and Lorna, performing on stage ... and then being unceremoniously denied a room at a nearby luxury hotel. See, Judy's career is in a bad way (admittedly undependable and uninsurable) - as is her health. She is broke, has no home, and offers for roles or performances have dried up. She ends up at her ex-husband Sid Luft's (Rufus Sewell) home, which after some former-spouse bickering, is where the kids stay.

With no other real prospective gigs, Judy accepts an offer from Bernard Delfont (Michael Gambon) to perform at his Talk of the Town theatre in London. Most of the film covers her time in London, and the challenges for all involved. She's 46 years old in the winter of 1968, and though her voice no longer carries the sublime purity of those early years, Judy still has incredible stage presence and an ability to connect with the audience. The challenges occur for her assigned assistant Rosalyn Wilder (who served as a consultant on the film, and is played here by rising star Jessie Buckley), as well as Judy herself. She misses her kids, and is battling loneliness and an addiction to pills - causing her to rarely eat or sleep. When her "friend" (and fifth husband) Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock) shows up, Judy's attitude perks up, but her already questionable dependability falters.

Flashbacks to Judy's teenage years at MGM are used to portray how the studio and industry took control of her body, soul and career. Watching studio head Louis B Mayer (Richard Cordery) bully young Judy (played by newcomer Darci Shaw) by pretending to be a father figure while keeping her weight in line with a diet of cigarettes, diet pills, and soup, is just painful. These scenes, including those with young Judy's frequent co-star Mickey Rooney, help us understand why she was in such a state by the time she hit London. Ms. Zellweger embodies the blend of frailty and determination and talent, as well as the insecurities that simultaneously drove Judy and held her back. Of course, few singers have ever possessed the vocal talent of Judy, but Zellweger admirably brings the appropriate strain and pain to the songs she sings for the movie, including "By Myself" and "The Trolley Song".

Born Frances Ethel Gumm, Judy Garland first hit the stage at age 2, and never experienced a "normal" childhood or traditional relationship. Despite her immense talent, she was never able to find peace with the pressures of performing. Years of abuse led to an early death, not long after she finished her London run. The film never backs away from the tragic story, but also allows one of the brightest stars of an era to shine through. For those who only know Judy as that homesick girl from Kansas, or maybe also as the rosy-cheeked youngster on the Trolley in the holiday favorite MEET ME IN ST LOUIS (directed by her future husband Vincente Minnelli), there is likely a shock factor in seeing the broken icon in middle age. The film also deals with that always-present bond she had with her audience, especially with the gay community - although a certain sequence of the film seems quite improbable.

For a film like this to work (it was not sanctioned by Judy's daughter Liza Minnelli), it all rides on the lead performance. Renee Zellweger beautifully captures both the tragic essence and the stunning talent of the late 1960's Judy Garland, an iconic and revered entertainment figure. The film allows us to understand the lifelong mistreatment and heartbreak of this woman, as well as the strength and joy she received while performing live. Balancing the "early" Judy with the "later" Judy was a brilliant way of bringing her life full circle. Ms. Zellweger's performance goes so much deeper than singing on stage ... she embodies the insecurity and frailties of a woman who was never afforded the opportunity to live her own life.

NOTE: There was a 2001 TV mini-series entitled "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows", based on daughter Lorna Luft's memoir, in which Judy Davis (lip-synching to Ms. Garland's songs) delivered an impressive and Emmy winning performance.
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A Judy Garland Pity Party
lavatch4 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
In the bonus track of the DVD of "Judy," the interviews with the film artists demonstrated how deeply they felt about the legacy of Judy Garland. At the same time, they seemed unaware of how their film had focused on the tragic side of Miss Garland in the final year of her life. It was also disappointing that the costume designer was not interviewed for the bonus track. The costumes evoked an indelible sense of the late 1960s and helped immensely in the development of the character of Miss Garland.

The film's action is primarily set in London in the months leading up to her death at the age of 47. Her stormy relationship with wheeler-dealer Mickey Deans, her erratic performances at the Talk of the Town nightclub, and her desperate attempt to gain custody of her two young children, comprised the main narrative strands of the film. Unfortunately, instead of being a celebration of one of the most iconic performers of the twentieth century, the film often turned into a pity party.

Garland went to London out of desperation to earn money in order to provide for her children, Lorna and Joey. The film is factually correct in revealing the children's preference to reside with their father Sid Luft. The pressure exerted on the kids to be their mom's caretaker through constant moves, living out of a suitcase in hotels, and Garland's drug and alcohol addiction, took a tremendous toll on the children.

As a child performer, Garland was subjected to a brutal regimen by the MGM studio. In the film's flashback segments, young Garland is given pills to pick her up for early morning make-up calls and pills to knock her out at night for a few hours rest. She is forced to endure brow-beating lectures from studio mogul Louis B. Mayer. But this string of depressing scenes about Garland's youth overshadows the performing virtuosity and the brimming-over-with-life appeal of Judy as a multi-talented singer-dancer-actress.

From the flashbacks, several brief dramatic scenes include Judy in conversation with her best friend, Mickey Rooney. But there were no dramatic recreations of any of the scenes from the Garland-Rooney musical films, including "Girl Crazy," "Strike Up the Band," "Babes on Broadway," or "Words and Music." For over a decade during the Great Depression Garland and Rooney were America's sweethearts. The unparalleled level of talent of these two youngsters was never on display in "Judy."

Renée Zellweger merits kudos for channeling Garland's devotion to her children. But she was unable to capture the performing dynamism of Garland, especially the energy invested in delivering a song. Even at her worst, Garland was a tornado on stage, connecting viscerally with audiences, and literally throwing herself into her numbers. Garland's instinctive use of gesture with arms in constant motion was downplayed by Zellwegger.

Zellweger's stage presence was too muted, and she never came close to approximating Garland's performing style that turned the 4' 11" Garland into a force of nature. The filmmakers chose to emphasize close-ups on Garland's face, and a number of Zellweger's acting choices were for a squinting Garland with a tic, which was an inaccurate portrayal of the luminous face and capacious smile of the real Judy Garland. In the made-for-television film "Life with Judy Garland--Me and My Shadows," Australian actress Judy Davis captures Garland's frenetic stage energy more completely than Zellweger.

Two of the most sensitive characters in the film were the fictionalized gay couple who idolized Garland and met her in person in London. It was clearly an overwhelming experience for them to bring her into their home and later to provide her with support when she faltered while delivering her trademark "Over the Rainbow" concert coda at the Talk of the Town. It was in those personal and private moments that the essence of Judy Garland came across in the soulful connections she made with audiences. Sadly, there was not enough of that performing magic evoked in the film.
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Great acting
ilovefoodcoma1 October 2019
Renee is just perfect for this role. Her acting is amazing! Her voice is so beautiful. Really enjoy this movie.
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Renee Zellweger - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Instant_Palmer29 October 2019
Renee immerses herself in the role of Judy Garland, locking up her 4th Oscar Nomination, and likely her second Oscar win, 15 years after Cold Mountain.

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
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The end of the rainbow had plenty of ups and downs.
mark.waltz1 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
When Judy Garland was ready to go on, her audiences got the show of a lifetime. The heart she put into those shows was so filled with the love for her audience and those who supported her, and the love of performing. The play on what this was allegedly based upon is fortunately not the dominating source of this movie as it wasn't always a dignified look, making it appear that Judy would take any kind of drug she could get her hand on, even if it was to cure a dog from mange. Fortunately, that reference is gone, and while this does show Judy drunk and spaced out from pills, it also reveals how she got hooked and the disastrous outcome of that lifelong addiction.

Renee Zellwegger ("Chicago") tops her performance as Roxie Hart, a role ironically performed on Broadway by Judy's daughter, Liza Minnelli. She doesn't look exactly like Judy or sing exactly like her, but once you get past that, she truly becomes her. TV's Judy was Judy Davis, and Broadway's Judy was Isabel Keating, and it's tough to top those iconic performances. Zellwegger gets to dip into her soul, and what is revealed is not only the greatest female performer ever, but a woman of so many conflictions, tragedies and demons that her eternal humor makes her the epitome of the true survivor which her devoted fans to this day keep close to their own hearts.

It's been 50 years since she passed away, and the legend hasn't faded. The story focuses on a period of time during her last year when she took a gig at the Talk of the Town in London to try to get out of debt with. Judy recalls various abuses while a child star at MGM, challenges ex-husband Sid Luft for the custody of children Joey and Lorna, visits Liza at a Hollywood Hills party (where she meets husband #5 Mickey Deans) and gets the London offer where she is greeted like a queen.

There's support from her talented pianist (whom she hits it off with immediately), the challenges her young assistant must face to please her, and of course the audience. A gay couple greet her outside the stage door, and they end up hosting her for a middle of the night breakfast. Judy gets to see first hand the love her gay fans have for her, and expresses her disgust with the indignities they have had to face to find happiness over that rainbow. They are there for up to and past the end, giving a finale that is really tear inducing.

Then there's her marriage to Mickey, happy at first, but even the strongest man can only take so much. This dismisses the fact that he was with her when she died, giving the impression that he walked out on her when she needed him most even though it is obvious that she pushed him as far as he could be pushed. She is not presented as perfect, and it is understandable why many people would be frustrated with her. But when she sings, all is forgiven. Renee gets to perform search Judy standards as "By Myself", "Once in a Lifetime" and "The Trolley Song", culminating in of course "Over the Rainbow".

I read in one of the many biographies on her that what happens in the finale actually did occur (I cannot recall which book), and even if it is a simple legend that has been made up, it truly is a beautiful thought to think that could happen to such a wonderful performer in a time of crisis. This is not a perfect film but it is a perfect representation of a great lady whose legend deserves to live on forever.
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Long haul
sotheran572 October 2019
I have been to see this film today with my wife. We both found it a long haul due to its slow pace. We didn't expect a 'musical' so its not the lack of Garland's song book that was a problem. After the first 15 mins. or so we were fidgeting in our seats! Half an hour later, had I been on my own, I would have probably left; but we stuck it out. A lot of problems arose wondering what was fact and what was 'artistic' licence. The dialogue was stilted and unnatural. It had been adapted from a play which I am sure would have worked better, perhaps the playwright should have done the screenplay. We both regarded the experience as two wasted hours, but it was forgettable so we will do that - forget it.
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Judy comes to life...Zellweger performance!!!
monberger29 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
What a phenomenal performance from Zellweger. I was for nearly two hours watching-enjoying an incredible personification of Ms. Judy Garland by Zellweger. Yes, the mannerisms, the singing, the acting it was just fabulous! I loved the idea of the story line did not focus on Ms. Garland's addiction to drugs but, to the struggles of the last few months of Ms. Garland's life with back and forth flashbacks remembering why she became a victim of her past. Throughout the whole film, I was submerged as I was watching Judy. This film is a Love Letter to Garland! Loved it!
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Company loves misery
LeonardKniffel11 October 2019
Hindsight is 20/20 or so the aphorism goes. In the case of Judy Garland, however, hindsight is more like 20/90: 90 percent focused on the abused, drug-addled victim of Hollywood greed and 10 percent on the delightful human being who began her entertainment career as Frances Gumm, age 2. In the new biopic "Judy," Renee Zellweger delivers a fascinating impersonation of a near- anorexic end-of-life Garland, but there is so much more to Judy Garland than what this movie would have us believe.

Among the most touching moments in the film is the fabricated dinner with two gay fans who stick with her to the end, but mostly this movie left me dry-eyed. The problem with this and every other Judy Garland biopic is that it portrays her as a pathetic victim rather than a heroic rebel who suffered greatly because she had no capable protectors. No doubt she was a handful, but the men in her life served only to show what double-handfuls they were by comparison.

Judy Davis's portrayal of Garland in the TV miniseries "Me and My Shadows" made her out as marginally less pathetic, especially in the scene where President John F. Kennedy asks her to sing "Over the Rainbow" to him over the telephone. She inspired so many, her talent was enormous, and to reduce it to the final lost years of her life does her no justice.

I saw "The End of the Rainbow," the play upon which this movie is based, about a decade ago in London and almost walked out because it was so miserable. Like the play, this movie is enough to make you regret that you ever enjoyed "The Wizard of Oz" or "Meet Me in St. Louis" because it makes you believe that Judy Garland made her way through those performances drugged and abused, as if she never had a good day in her life.

Anyone who has observed Garland's story through the years knows that there were two times when she was truly happy--one was with her children, the other was delivering a song as if she were giving birth to it.

At one point in "Judy" the nasty studio chief Louis B. Mayer presses Garland to choose between a career of Hollywood fame and glamour and a life as a dreary Midwestern farm wife. Somehow it makes us believe that she would have been better off cast in "The Wizard of Oz" as Auntie Em rather than Dorothy. Less obviously, it points out that she would have been the same woman with the same voice minus the studio bullying, the scrutiny of tabloid so-called journalists, and the sadistic voyeurs and users who somehow enjoyed her misery and felt that she had brought it upon herself.

Misery loves company, so if you want to sit in a theater for two hours and watch a reenactment of the last horrific months of Judy Garland's life, by all means squirm through "Judy." Otherwise, for a much more interesting and nuanced appreciation of Garland's contribution to 20th century popular music, watch the blogger Isabel's "Be Kind Rewind" tribute, "The 'Judy' Companion." She observes that this film makes a spectacle of suffering. That is the real tragedy of Judy Garland's life: the spectacle that has been made of it.
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This Film is Only Good if you Don't Know who Judy Was
Bfeins511011 October 2019
Renee Zellweger is only effective if you don't know Judy Garland. If you have seen the late icon in films or on television, this is a fictional depressing movie. Judy Garland was so much more....and that is the movie which should have been produced.
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Disappointing Biopic That Misses The Mark
martimusross1 October 2019

Very much in the trend of recent biopics including Oliver Hardy, Freddie Mercury, Elton John and now Judy Garland. No more please!

I remember Bette Davis saying to Michael Parkinson years ago "no one is going to make my biopic as my life has been work, work and more work", and thus it clearly was with Judy Garland.

We had two hours focusing on the last few months of her life where she was a shadow of her former glory that portrayed her as a drunk, pill-popping wreck.

There really was little story here to sustain a movie, whether Renee Zellweger was or was not like Judy she just had to little to work with except a drunken caricature of a broken woman.

Renee Zellweger undoubtedly produced some moments that were persuasive and affecting but much was so on the surface we didn't warm and love her portrayal of this vulnerable and above all human person. Much seemed robotic.

In terms of the music this was the biggest disappointment of all. Universally flat and uninspiring of one of the most memorable recording stars of the 20th century. Had this element been better it may have redeemed the movie.

Overall I was bored by looking at a drunk woman for two hours, we all know about Judy, tell us something we don't know. Lastly apart from her tragic end Judy, I think, had a rather fabulous life with a lot of joy and fun, so this film left a nasty taste in the mouth.
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