Duration: 118 minutes
Story: The film follows Judy Garland during the last year of her life, as she relocated her stage career to Britain, in an attempt to make money and win her children's custody back. While she found initial success with sell-out concerts at the Talk of the Town in London, eventually the situation worsened due to health issues.
Review: Rupert Goold's Judy moves you with Renée's performance and makes you believe in Judy Garland, her dream and beliefs. The film is only a glimpse of what Judy was and keeps you on your toes by adding almost all aspects of life. Renée Zellweger plays the caring mother, the legendary singer, the needy lover and the lonely child whose name was, Frances Ethel Gumm, a.k.a. Baby.
This is a biopic that tries to share her entire life span of 47 years with 118 minutes and leaves you only with basic moments to represent her pain and her glory. The film is a rendition of Peter Quilter's play End of the Rainbow, which did quite well on Broadway, back in 2012. The film sympathies with Judy as the loving mother, who only wanted one thing, getting back to her children.
At the start of the film, we see a strong, confident Judy Garland walking towards the Hotel lobby, taking the world in, commanding as she was on screen. But the reality kicks in when she reaches the lobby and the staff releases her room and refuses to let her in along with her children. Outraged Judy with nowhere to go, downs a couple of pills and drags the kids back out. When daughter Lorna reminds her mother, not to fall asleep, she says, "No, no no these are the other ones,".
Judy wasn't easy to deal with and the reason was her past, we also get several glimpses of that. Teenage Judy was the slave of her contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She worked 14 hours a day until she forgets her name, and was made to eat only chicken soup, and lettuce for long periods of time to help watch her weight. While there was so much material to work with, we get a polished version of the truth. The real Judy was troubled in more than one ways, she had made and lost fortunes during her career, she was addicted to drugs and a had attempted suicide number of times. She once even threatened to jump off a window in front of her daughter. And unfortunately, we don't get to see the complex woman that she was.
Instead, we are shown a lady much like the way she was portrayed on and off-screen during her teen years. We only get to see a version of her which is acceptable by the society without having to look away or make you think.
Renée Zellweger looks splendid on the screen and plays Judy as a star that she was. We get to see her sing some of the biggest hits and lead the stage beautifully. The crew also deserves special praise for the casting of other roles, from Darci Shaw as young Judy Garland to her fifth husband Finn Wittrock as Mickey Deans all are outstanding. The makeup, costumes and accents had me hooked along with Renee's performance.
By the end of the film, I was in awe of Judy and I felt she was wronged and let down by so many people in her life but I didnt get a chance to see her and understand her. Overall, Judy is meant for those who would like to reminisce on the good memories of the greatest entertainer in history.