Five Reasons You’ll Love It - October 3, 2019

Judy - Five Reasons You'll Love It
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Judy - Five Reasons You'll Love It

When it comes to subject matter for Hollywood biopics, subjects don’t come much riper than Judy Garland. 

Best known for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, which she performed as a 16-year-old, Garland’s adult life was chaotic. Five marriages, a life-long struggle with alcohol and prescription drugs, terrible finances and a streak of unreliability that saw her sued over and over again. 

In this take, we meet Garland as she arrives in London in 1969 for a five-week run of sellout concerts, a commitment she has taken to provide money for her children and clear her mounting debts. 

As she prepares for the shows, she battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, all while her personal life and her fifth marriage are falling apart.

Renée Zellweger plays Garland, with Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley and Bella Ramsey in supporting roles. 

Rupert Goold, largely known for his theatre work as well as 2015 drama True Story, directs. He works from a script from Tom Edge. 

The film is in cinemas now and is available to pre-order on DVD here in hmv’s online store. But, before that, we caught an early screening and have rounded up five reasons why you’ll love it...

 

Renée Zelwegger is stunning…

This is a great performance. She’s fragile, frustrating, fiery, charismatic and incredibly watchable. Garland’s life is a colourful, wide canvas and deserves a real virtuoso turn to honour it, which the Bridget Jones star definitely delivers. We’d be very surprised if she isn’t a serious contender for a Best Actress Oscar. 

 

And so is Darci Shaw…

Shaw plays the young Garland and does so with great aplomb. She gets a handful of short intense scenes and offers an awful lot in not much time. 

 

There are some great supporting turns…

This is Zelwegger’s film, but she is ably supported. Jessie Buckley is characteristically excellent as Rosalyn Wilder, the poor woman whose job it is to get Garland on stage every night, Finn Wittrock is great as the charming and feckless Mickey Deans, Garland's fifth and final husband, and Rufus Sewell is a mean, brooding Sidney Luft, Garland's third husband and former manager.

 

The script is focused and tight…

With a life as chaotic as Garland’s, this movie could have been a sprawling mess with an epic runtime, but Edge’s script avoids that. He and Goold keep things tight and focused. 

 

The two time periods work seamlessly…

The narrative cuts back and forth between Garland’s later life struggles and her days on the set of The Wizard Of Oz. It’s skillfully done and does a lot of the heavy lifting to account for Garland’s later-life behaviour. 

 

Judy is out now in UK cinemas and available to pre-order on DVD here.

Judy
Judy Rupert Goold

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