WHAT'S IT ABOUT

Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through.

What did we think

  1. Amy Currie October 8, 2019

    This biopic contains everything you’d expect from a Hollywood tragedy. All the classics are there: onstage breakdowns, tearful phone calls, lingering shots of pill bottles and flashbacks to a traumatic past. Zellweger’s Garland initially seems close to caricature, but after a few moments it’s clear that there’s a lot more going on. She’s a glorious hot mess of girlish excitement, vulnerability and deep frustration, cracking wise even as depression and substance abuse drag her downwards, and these moments of levity do a lot to challenge the perception of Garland as nothing but a tragic figure. While this film is a little by-the-numbers, it still works. Expect Oscar nominations. 4/5

  2. There is only so much you can do with a bio pic about Judy Garland. She has to go over the rainbow and down the yellow brick road, a star needs to be born and then she needs to die of a barbiturates overdose at age 49. Judy chooses to focus on the last years of Garland’s life as she does a series of concerts across the UK with flashbacks to her days on the set of the Wizard of Oz. If that sounds like a run of the mill bio pic, that's because it is. That being said Renée Zellweger is a fantastic Judy Garland. Without actually looking or sounding the part, she still manages to capture Garland’s tragic essence. Zellweger carries the movie on her back. Moments that would be laughable in less capable hands are transformed into heartbreak on the strength of Zellweger’s performance. While not the most original film, Zellweger alone makes it worth watching for any friend of Dorothy. 3.75/5

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