Renee Zellweger gives an Oscar worthy performance as Judy Garland in screenwriter Tom Edge and director Rupert Goold’s mesmerizing biographical feature titled “Judy.” Based on the Broadway play, “The End of the Rainbow,“ the film follows the legendary entertainer at London’s Talk of the Town circa 1968-69. Capturing the body language and the showbiz chops of the iconic singer, Zellweger convincingly belts out Judy’s signature songs during beguiling concert sequences.
Besides recreating the late 60’s era, the film also flashes back to Judy’s formative years at MGM with big bad Louis B. Mayer “prescribing” uppers and downers for the teen (played by Darci Shaw) with absolutely no regard for her health.
In an attempt to revive her career and to make enough money to retain custody of her younger children, Lorna (Bella Ramsey) and Joey (Lewin Lloyd), the difficult-to-employ Judy agrees to leave the kids with her ex, Sid Luft (Rufus Sewell), and travel to England for a 5-week booking at the glam nightspot presided over by impresario Bernard Delfon (Michael Gambon).
Finn Wittrock portrays Mickey Deans, Judy’s latest love interest who arrives in London and becomes husband number 5.
Although Judy struggles with anxiety, drugs and alcohol and seems poised to become a total trainwreck, most of the time she manages to remain tough and reverts to her lifetime of training. Even during her lowest moments, Judy’s famous quick wit surfaces.
A particularly touching sequence shows Judy and two dumbfounded fans who get to cook dinner for their idol in their London flat.
Rated PG-13 3 and 1/2 Stars
In her highly praised portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy,” Renee Zellweger seems to have an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress locked. It’s early, but the following are some other predicted Best Actress nominees at the 92nd Academy Awards Ceremony, Feb. 9, 2020.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON — MARRIAGE STORY: Adam Driver costars with Johansson in filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s story of the disintegrating marriage of an actress and a stage director.
SAORISE RONAN — LITTLE WOMEN: The three-time Oscar nominee plays Jo in the 8th film version of “Little Women.”
CYNTHIA ERIVO — HARRIET: Erivo portrays slave-turned abolitionist Harriet Tubman who led hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad.
JENNIFER LOPEZ — HUSTLERS: Lopez gives a stunning performance as Ramona, the leader of a group of nightclub strippers in a moneymaking scam.
AWKWAFINA — THE FAREWELL: Billi (Awkwafina) returns to China for a fake wedding which is a cover for the family to say goodbye to their matriarch, who may or may not be dying.
HELEN MIRREN —
THE GOOD LIAR: Wealthy widow Betty MacLeish (Mirren) becomes involved with Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellan) in a dramatic thriller.
CHARLIZE THERON — BOMBSHELL: Theron plays former Fox News personality Megyn Kelly in a film about the takedown of founder Roger Ailes. Costars include Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson and John Lithgow as Ailes.
ALFRE WOODARD — CLEMENCY: Woodward is Bernardine Williams, a warden at a Death Row prison in a film written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu.
LUPITA NYONG’O — US: Oscar winner Nyong’o plays a dual role in filmmaker Jordan Peele’s horror movie.