<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Rupert Goold. Starring Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon 

Running time: 2 hours

A biopic about the magical star of The Wizard of Oz and how her life was just as tumultuous as a tornado, Judy has some heart but it’s also a bit formula.

The wholesome girl next door, Judy Garland was the darling of the silver screen in the from the 1920s to the 1960s. But all wasn’t well behind the scenes. Judy the movie tries to capture her late career when she’s past her prime and trying to make ends meet in the late 1960s with her two kids in tow, touring through America, but earning very little. Eventually, Judy (Renée Zellweger) lands up at her ex-husband Sid’s (Rufus Sewell) house and decides to leave her kids there while she goes off to London to make some money so she doesn’t end up losing them for good to her ex.

Renée Zellweger and Finn Wittrock in Judy

By this time in her life, Judy has made pill-popping an art form, something she learnt from her teenage years working with Luis B. Mayer as a star/slave who got little sleep and even less to eat. A broken family and no one to turn to, lead young Judy (Darci Shaw) to spiral out of control over the years. Substance abuse and alcoholism became her friends but she couldn’t stop; show business was just as addictive to her since the love of the audience compensated for her failed marriages.

A scene from Judy

In Judy, Zellweger pretty much runs the gamut of emotions and situations that you’d expect from a has-been star with an addiction, who’s also difficult to handle and just looking to be loved and admired. The first half of the film runs as you’d expect it to till Judy meets two older gay men who admire her work; she has dinner with them and it’s their poignant story that brings some heart to the film. Things pick up a bit from here but you never really empathise or love her. Sure she had a bad life but her kids and her career should have been incentive enough to get a grip on things.

One of the only touching scenes in Judy

Zellweger is no Judy Garland in the singing department but the numbers are suitably rousing especially the one at the end about dreams coming true…

I actually found the bits where they flashback to the 1930s to Judy as a young girl being tormented by studio chief Mayer (Richard Cordery) the most interesting and would’ve preferred watching a whole film about that.

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