Available starting September 27, 2019 | Drama/Musical | 118 minutes | In English
The film opens showing a young Judy being coerced by an ambitious, pill-pushing mother and the ruthless MGM chief, Louis B. Mayer. All of these pressures drive Judy into a deep depression resulting in drug addiction and alcoholism. Now broke, fighting a custody battle with husband Sid Luft, and owing back taxes, Judy accepts a gig in the only venue that will book her, London’s “Talk of the Town” nightclub. She’s driven to make enough money to clear her financial problems and move back to Hollywood and raise her two young kids, Lorna and Joey. Fragile and mentally ruined, Judy forces herself to get on the stage and sing her heart out. It’s a tense run, with ups and downs. When she can stay clean, she delivers performances that are vintage Judy Garland. She’s somewhat of a success in London, but it’s also obvious she’s on the way down in her life. Tragically, Judy dies at the very early age of 47.
Renée Zellweger (Judy Garland) / Darci Shaw (Young Judy Garland) / Richard Cordery (Louis B. Mayer) / Rufus Sewell (Sidney Luft) / Bella Ramsey (Lorna Luft) / Lewin Lloyd (Joey Luft)
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 84%
- Metacritic Score: 65
- The film critics are nearly unanimous: Zellweger is sure to win the Oscar for Best Actress. At the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Zellweger received a 10-minute standing ovation at the conclusion of the film.
Now streaming on:
Renée Zellweger performs miracles playing Judy Garland: singing her heart out, baring her bruised soul and acting with a ferocity that ultimately rises to a state of grace. JUDY is pure Oscarbait—ready made for an Academy campaign and that’s a dazzling, deeply felt tribute from one artist to another. But you’ll want to see this for Zellweger’s bravura turn alone. It’s one of the best performances of the year.
If there was ever a film that screamed Best Actress, it’s JUDY. But damn, Renee Zellweger is absolutely fantastic in this role, and absolutely deserves Best Actress honors. Yes, I know the year’s not over yet, but the bar is set high.
Zellweger doesn’t deliver an impersonation of Judy Garland as much as an interpretation, adjusting her own vocal register but never to the point of erasure or mimicry. The result is a relatively straightforward slice-of-life biopic that offers an utterly transfixing glimpse at the art of screen performance writ gloriously, glamorously large.
Renée Zellweger seems likely to win the Oscar that eluded Judy Garland, the once-radiant star she plays in JUDY. Zellweger gives the performance of a lifetime as a woman who arguably gave several during her career, and paid the price in exhaustion, isolation, and drug addiction. To use the excitable language of the old Hollywood movie trailers: Renee Zellweger IS Judy Garland.
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