I will put my money on the table right now and say Renee Zellweger will be, at the very least, a nominee for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Judy Garland in the biopic ‘Judy’.
The film, which is based upon the stage play End of the Rainbow traces Judy Garlands’ life in the last few months of her life, and focuses on her comeback performances in the late 60’s at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London.
Broke, homeless and dependant on drugs and alcohol, Garland leaves her beloved children with their father in America whilst she takes on the five-week engagement at the club, in the hope of earning enough money to support her children and give them a more stable upbringing. The show, although a sell-out, is not a success; mostly due to Garland’s unreliability and self- destructive lifestyle.
With flashbacks to when she was a young star appearing in the Wizard of Oz, the film shows the horrific way the Hollywood studio system treated it’s contracted stars. Judy was fed appetite suppressants from a young age and constantly criticised about her appearance; she had pills to keep her awake, pills to make her sleep and regularly worked 18 hour days.
This is a tragic story of how behind the glitz and glamour of one of the worlds most loved Hollywood stars was a woman plagued with low self-esteem and insecurities, unable to function without her crutch of drugs and alcohol; and how brutal the Hollywood machine was in their endeavour to make money.
Renee Zellweger puts on a stellar performance as Judy Garland, portraying her fragility and is completely believable in the role; she has nailed Garlands’ mannerisms and posture and is even convincing when she takes on the musical numbers herself rather than lip-syncing to recordings. Although it’s no pleasure ride, this film is definitely one to put on your list if you are a Judy Garland fan.
Judy is showing in cinemas from 10th October.
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