Starring: Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Finn Wittrock, Bella Ramsey, Andy Nyman

Director: Rupert Goold

Release date: 4th October 2019

 

In 1968 and global superstar Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) has come to London to do some sold out shows at the Talk of the Town theatre. Her finances are not what they were and so she comes to perform some long awaited shows. She gives her all in the performances but jetlag has become her enemy and she struggles to sleep at night. Her children are with their dad over in the US and the separation from them is awful. Lack of sleep and anxiety are taking their toll on Judy’s well-being but she must carry on as best she can. She meets two long term fans at the stage door one evening and goes home with them for dinner. She has demons to fight, but the show must go on…

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Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922 and over a forty five year career, she became one of Hollywood’s sweethearts, appearing in countless movies, on the stage and of course as a recording artist. Of all her roles, Judy will probably be best known and remembered for her incredible role as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz”; one of the greatest movies in cinematic history.

Not entirely sure how the many millions of Judy Garland fans will take this film, be it a triumph or a tragedy, but it’s one of those movies you knew would have happened at some point. The point with biopic movies is that you want the actor/actress to be as close to perfect as possible, particularly if you are a long-term fan. Judy was not just an actress or a singer, she was an Icon; a figure that people could and do adore. Her rendition of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ still flutters the heart and brings a tear to the eye when heard, no matter how many times over a lifetime that you hear it. It encapsulates a time in people’s lives and gives that little bit of escapism we all want and need.

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Renée Zellweger has managed to capture the facial and bodily movements of this Icon and brings us on her journey. She portrays her as human, a person like the rest of us who have our daily struggles. It would be quite surprising if she doesn’t get an Oscar mention in the near future.

A really enjoyable look at Judy Garland’s life, from an aspiring young child star to the global superstar she would become, ‘Judy’ is a fantastic watch. Have your hankies ready for the rendition of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’.

Overall: 8/10

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