Nick Scott reviews “Judy” a look into the tragic last years of the talented creative Judy Garland.
I was not sure what to expect when seeing this film. Let me tell you now, it is not a bio-pic, but centers on the final years of Judy Garland’s life. There are some flashbacks but it is not the full story, nor is it meant to be.
The role of Judy Garland is played by Renee Zellweger in a very fine performance. The performance is so good that it appears that the need for other solid characters was overlooked. Apart from the character of Louis Mayer – director of The Wizard of Oz, all the other charcters are a bit tired and poorly acted, especially when compared to the part played by Zellwieger.
The script is good but remains much the same for too long. The best thing I can say is that after one hour, I considered leaving and getting a nice lunch. However, The film changed my mind for two reasons, 1) the first musical number in the film, which seemed to give the set-upon character of Judy a bit of happiness. 2) the change in setting to England where the bright points in her character seem to shine a bit brighter.
Bear in mind, however this is not a meant to be a happy film. I thought it interesting that a lot of the full-body shots of Judy were lit so that all the physical flaws in her midddle aged body were made more obvious. The director was aiming for a film that was close to a tragedy. And in real life it was tragic toward the end, so you could say that the film succeeded on being an being an accurate depiction of Judy Garland’s last days A downward spiral of drugs and unhappy relationships leading to her death at the age of 47.
So, should you see it? You should but only expect to see a very good lead performance. Don’t expect too much else. Stick with it and you might learn something. I did.
Nick Scott Nick Scott has a B.A from The University of Waikato where he studied film under Sam Edwards. Nick has retained a keen interest in cinema. He studied Te Reo Maori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa part-time for 3 years and then from 2014 to 2016 Nick collaborated in writing “The Traveller’s guide to Maori Place Names”.
Wikipedia says “Judy is a 2019 biographical drama film about American singer and actress Judy Garland. Directed by Rupert Goold, it is an adaptation of the Olivier– and Tony-nominated West End and Broadway play End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter. The film stars Renée Zellweger as Garland, with Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, and Michael Gambon in supporting roles.
The film follows Judy Garland’s career during the last year of her life when she relocated her stage career to Britain coupled with flashbacks to her teenage years most prominently the filming of her part as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz; Garland’s most iconic role. After some initial success for a run of sell-out concerts at the Talk of the Town in London, her efforts eventually stop making progress and even start to worsen due to health issues.
Judy premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on 30 August 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on 27 September 2019, and in the United Kingdom on 2 October 2019. It grossed $41 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for Zellweger’s performance, who won the Golden Globe Award, SAG Award, BAFTA Award, and the Academy Award for Best Actress.”
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