Roadside Attractions | Release Date: September 27, 2019
6.7
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 106 Ratings
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Positive:
66
Mixed:
27
Negative:
13
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8
Brent_MarchantSep 29, 2019
Doing justice to an iconic performer can be a tricky proposition, but "Judy" does just that where legendary singer/dancer/actress Judy Garland is concerned. Renee Zellweger absolutely knocks it out of the park in a touching,Doing justice to an iconic performer can be a tricky proposition, but "Judy" does just that where legendary singer/dancer/actress Judy Garland is concerned. Renee Zellweger absolutely knocks it out of the park in a touching, brings-tears-to-your-eyes portrayal of the talented but tragic performer. While some elements might have been handled a little better (such as the pacing in the first 30 minutes), the film more than makes up for any minor shortcomings with Zellweger's phenomenal singing and acting, capturing Judy's sensitive but sad essence with heartfelt emotion and a superb rendition of her subject's character. Not a perfect movie, but one that absolutely gets it right where it counts. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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10
Thatkat09Sep 27, 2019
A respectful and heartfelt portrait on Judy's last tour. We see her go through terrible things but it never devolves into making her a victim. She was as strong fabulous lady with terrible circumstances who tried to make the most of them, andA respectful and heartfelt portrait on Judy's last tour. We see her go through terrible things but it never devolves into making her a victim. She was as strong fabulous lady with terrible circumstances who tried to make the most of them, and i'm glad this film went along those lines. Renee is also fantastic. Her singing doesn't sound like Judy, but its not bad at all. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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8
moviemitch96Sep 28, 2019
While I've never been the biggest Judy Garland fan, nor Renee Zellweger fan, I've always acknowledged just how talented Garland was, especially as a singer, and so I was interested to see just how well Zellweger would be able to not onlyWhile I've never been the biggest Judy Garland fan, nor Renee Zellweger fan, I've always acknowledged just how talented Garland was, especially as a singer, and so I was interested to see just how well Zellweger would be able to not only embody her, but also how well she could sing, and I'm happy to report that she knocks it out of the park in this film! She was nearly unrecognizable to me, and I truly felt as though I was watching Judy Garland come back to life. Furthermore, this film helped me gain a whole new respect for Garland and the immense struggles and pressure she went through in Hollywood and her fame. Overall, despite it predictably following the standard biopic formula a number of times, Zellweger more than makes up for this and carries the film with her amazing performance! She will be nominated at the Oscars for this film, mark my words! And I can almost guarantee the final 5 minutes are bound to choke quite a few people up. I know I can vouch for that. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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9
katezoeSep 30, 2019
Renee Zellweger embodies Judy Garland...Oscar nomination! This is performance of a lifetime. As mentioned by others in User Reviews the ending brought tears too many in the audience. Costumes, hair and make-up pitch perfect.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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5
tropicAcesSep 27, 2019
I mean, it’s a biopic. It has flashbacks that are sometimes interesting but apart from one don’t serve any true purpose to the story, and there are elements of her present-day life that feel underused, unaddressed or just plain awkward.
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6
Compi24Oct 8, 2019
Considering the life that common knowledge tells us Judy Garland lived, I'm not sure how anyone can consider "Judy" anything short of sanitized. This woman's existence was horrific, and -- in a kind of metaphysically twisted way -- aConsidering the life that common knowledge tells us Judy Garland lived, I'm not sure how anyone can consider "Judy" anything short of sanitized. This woman's existence was horrific, and -- in a kind of metaphysically twisted way -- a considerable amount of that pain was caused by the same sort of forces that have disinfected the harsh bits from this story -- show business. Crimes committed against our protagonist are only alluded to. Tragic acts enacted by the protagonist are only mentioned and then nothing more. Pivotal, potentially dynamic characters are either tossed aside or entirely left out. It's a damned shame.

I know it sounds like I'm really chewing this movie out, but it's because of the few moments of brilliance throughout and what I'm sure are the very kind intentions behind this film that really leave me feeling cold in the end.

The in vogue approach for biopics nowadays is to pick a specific portion of a subject's life, and try telling the story behind that period to the best of one's abilities. For Judy Garland, I think I would've preferred the more traditional biopic approach. If you want to really make me feel for Judy Garland, give me the exhaustive, A to Z, warts and all approach. Because, from what I understand, her entire life was really that affecting.

"Judy" is fine. Almost frustratingly so. And not even the incredible efforts of Renee Zellweger can elevate an approach that really needed to be fine tuned from jump.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
WorldtravelerSep 29, 2019
Renee Zellweger shines in Judy, at times she spookily captures the Garland I remember from the 1960s. Her terrific performance captures the pathos and melancholy of her tragic life shortly before her death in 1969.

The movie from BBC Films
Renee Zellweger shines in Judy, at times she spookily captures the Garland I remember from the 1960s. Her terrific performance captures the pathos and melancholy of her tragic life shortly before her death in 1969.

The movie from BBC Films centers on her last concert performances at Top of the Town in London. While the last year of her life was not a happy time, the film does have it happy moments when she shares a late night dinner with two aging gay fans.
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10
skobbOct 3, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My wife and I really enjoyed this movie, although much of it is depressing. The story gives you a sense of why she fell apart.

Also: the fictional account of her meeting with two gay guys was a wonderful way to account for her connection to that community.
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8
FilmreactiviewSep 29, 2019
At Canadian Premiere
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
Billybob43Oct 1, 2019
Renee is fabulous. The first hour was chopped and all characters made me angry The last 30 minutes: Bazinga!
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
GreatMartinSep 27, 2019
Renee Zellweger does an excellent job as Judy Garland but, using her own voice, shows that there was only one Judy Garland! Judy Davis, in 2001, did a 4 hour TV story called "Life With Judy Garland: Me & My Shadow", winning an Emmy, butRenee Zellweger does an excellent job as Judy Garland but, using her own voice, shows that there was only one Judy Garland! Judy Davis, in 2001, did a 4 hour TV story called "Life With Judy Garland: Me & My Shadow", winning an Emmy, but lip-synced Judy's voice and was more effective.

In "I Could Go On Singing", Garland's last movie, the screenplay did a much better job about a world famous singer showing the love for her children then this screenplay by Tom Edge based on a play by Peter Quilter. The flashbacks to Judy's start and her treatment by the studio, especially during "The Wizard of Oz", along with 'appearances' by actors such as Mickey Rooney, doesn't add anything new.

More time spent with Judy's ex husband, Sid Luft (Rufus Sewell) and Jessie Buckley, as Judy's last assistant, Rosalie, would have added more to the story about her last days. Finn Wittrock, as Micky Deans, her last husband, for less than a year and rumored to be gay is given less attention but then another husband Vincent Minnelli, father of Liza and also gay, isn't even mentioned. Darci Shawn, as young Judy, would make perfect casting as a young Liz Taylor.

"Judy" delivers one fine performance and a tearful last 5 minutes but instead of recommending seeing this I would recommend you seeing Judy Garland in "I Could Go On Singing" and Judy Davis in "Life With Judy Garland: Me & My Shadow".
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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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8
LamontRaymondSep 28, 2019
The story is just ok, of course, but the performances of Renee Zellweger and the always amazing Jessie Buckly push this one over the top. I mean, Renee is pretty spectacular. Who would have thought that Bridget Jones could have eventually done this?
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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7
The3AcademySinsOct 6, 2019
Judy is a film that makes Joker look like an uplifting comedy. Wow. This movie is oppressively depressing from the moment the screen lights up. The film really brings home the fact that there is no hope for Judy Garland at this point in herJudy is a film that makes Joker look like an uplifting comedy. Wow. This movie is oppressively depressing from the moment the screen lights up. The film really brings home the fact that there is no hope for Judy Garland at this point in her life. This movie is a tender reflection of a woman who has lost pretty much everything. Judy Garland is played brilliantly by Renee Zellweger. She is definitely going to be getting some buzz this awards season. Her portrayal is haunting and incredibly real to life. I wanted to reach into the screen and give her a hug and tell her everything is going to be okay.

While Renee Zellweger is easily at a 10, the rest of the movie is a very by-the-books biopic in terms of the screenplay. The cinematography and lighting in particular is really beautiful to behold. There are some really cool shots, and I wish the rest of the story could keep up with the star and the technical production.

All in all, I wish metacritic would allow it's users to give half scores. This movie is a strong 7.5 as a complete product. If you like Judy Garland, or biopics, you will love this movie. Bring someone to hold onto, because this is a depressing swan song you won't soon forget.
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5
MattBrady99Oct 5, 2019
"You won't forget me will you?...Promise you won't"

'Judy' isn't anything special as a movie, but at least offers a respectful perspective on the final years of Judy Garland's life. Renée Zellweger, on the other hand, was the glue that hold
"You won't forget me will you?...Promise you won't"

'Judy' isn't anything special as a movie, but at least offers a respectful perspective on the final years of Judy Garland's life.

Renée Zellweger, on the other hand, was the glue that hold this together. Her embodiment of Garland is truly remarkable. I didn't see Renee. I see nothing but Judy. Everything from her long eyelashes, crooked smile, and the brutal aftermath of Hollywood.
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9
Eaj6Oct 8, 2019
Renee Zellweger emobodies the role of Judy Garland perfectly. This movie really shows how talented Judy Garland was. It also showed how much she went through and how much pressure she was under. It may not have been the happiest movie, but itRenee Zellweger emobodies the role of Judy Garland perfectly. This movie really shows how talented Judy Garland was. It also showed how much she went through and how much pressure she was under. It may not have been the happiest movie, but it was an influential and inspiring one. Expand
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5
norcalmatthewb2Sep 27, 2019
This was one of the best film experiences of my life. Loved every minute of this movie. Gave me chills multiple times. I laughed and cried. Renée Zellweger’s performance is definitely Oscar worthy.
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7
TVJerryOct 3, 2019
First, the obvious: Renée Zellweger is brilliant and amazing, portraying Judy Garland as a talented train wreck. The movie primarily takes place in 1968, when her rep has ruined her chances for most career opportunities. She takes a 5-weekFirst, the obvious: Renée Zellweger is brilliant and amazing, portraying Judy Garland as a talented train wreck. The movie primarily takes place in 1968, when her rep has ruined her chances for most career opportunities. She takes a 5-week concert run in London. The narrative also flashes back to her "Oz" days, when the pressure to perform and the ruinous routine of drugs started. Almost every scene keeps Zellweger close to the camera, while her performance effectively captures Garland's mannered style and tentative delivery (her singing is plenty adequate but doesn't ring quite as powerful as the original). Most of this story is wretchedly tragic (and repetitive to the point of tedium), but she manages to show moments of wit and charm. This is surely Oscar bait for the star, but it also manages to shed sad light on Garland's complex existence. Expand
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3
namelessDec 16, 2019
I could only get through part of it. Renee is a fine actress but this portrayal doesn't work. Renee pops off the screen, there is no judy. Do you recall Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn in Aviator, if that was OK for you, you won't beI could only get through part of it. Renee is a fine actress but this portrayal doesn't work. Renee pops off the screen, there is no judy. Do you recall Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn in Aviator, if that was OK for you, you won't be bothered but it is that bad for me. If you are after the history because your grandmother loved Judy Garland than this will be fine. But if you know Judy Garland's voice and inflections then this will be fingernails on a chalkboard. Expand
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6
foxgroveOct 7, 2019
The first thing to be said about 'Judy' is that Renee Zellweger gives a very good performance. Whether or not it is a good characterisation of Judy Garland is another matter altogether. All too often one can see the familiar inflections ofThe first thing to be said about 'Judy' is that Renee Zellweger gives a very good performance. Whether or not it is a good characterisation of Judy Garland is another matter altogether. All too often one can see the familiar inflections of Zellweger behind the mask. However, she is still the best thing about a film that is wildly uneven in nearly every aspect. Some scenes ignite, whilst others count for little. The backstory and screenplay are just not worthy of the central performance and the film ultimately seems like a series of vignettes of varying quality. A lot has been commented on about Zellweger's lack of a singing voice to be compared with that of Garland. This may well be true but, for me who is not a Garland aficionado, she seemed absolutely fine. Of course this brings me back to my first point and hinges on whether or not you are comparing her to Garland (which ultimately we are being asked to do)or just enjoying a consummate performance of someone who could be playing anyone. So what works: Well, a scene of two devout fans meeting her at the stage door and taking her home for a late night supper is beautifully played, as are most of the staged musical numbers (appreciation of the voice not withstanding). Flashbacks to Garland as a young girl are also pointedly compelling. Costumes are evocative and the make-up is generally very convincing. However, even here at certain angles, the real Zellweger shines through to remind us of the artifice. The last twenty minutes packs an undeniable emotional punch with Zellweger emoting 'Over The Rainbow' to moving effect, despite some rather jarring, not to mention manipulative, direction from Rupert Goold. Overall not bad but, it should, and could have been so much better. Expand
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8
marcmyworksDec 27, 2019
One of the stronger biopics to come out in recent years. This film touches on the complexities of starlet Judy Garland as she lives performs in London during the days of her career. Solid performance by Renee Zellweger who beautifully embodies Judy.
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8
temptershellJan 2, 2020
Beautifully realized biography of a fantastic actress. Sensational creation and music, costumes at a very high level. Unfortunately, the film is not on the one level and the second act is a bit dull.
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9
luminaxsterNov 1, 2019
It was a joy to get to know about that lovely girl that stumbled upon the Wicked Witch of the East. The story shows many of the trouble women face today through an era with worse conditions, it doesn't sugar coat the human we are followingIt was a joy to get to know about that lovely girl that stumbled upon the Wicked Witch of the East. The story shows many of the trouble women face today through an era with worse conditions, it doesn't sugar coat the human we are following and it greatly makes you understand her without compromises. Expand
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7
John935Jan 5, 2020
First-rate showbiz biopic that gets the tone uncannily right. Zellweger is amazing. What I liked most about it is it dares to be serious and intense, and it sustains that. Could have easily slipped off those rails but never does. Pretty muchFirst-rate showbiz biopic that gets the tone uncannily right. Zellweger is amazing. What I liked most about it is it dares to be serious and intense, and it sustains that. Could have easily slipped off those rails but never does. Pretty much tells it like it was. And of course the real Judy was amazing too. Expand
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9
alejandro970Feb 23, 2020
Beyond of the rainbow and the yellow brick road, the legend of Judy Garland in her decline days, who then carried an ordeal of debts, unhappy marriages and addiction troubles. Zellwegger is compelling and makes it worth the ticket.
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6
JLuis_001Dec 16, 2019
Renée Zellweger remembers how to act in this simple biopic, delivering her best performance since Cold Mountain in 2003, however despite the good intentions, the film cannot help feeling like a vehicle to grant nominations to its lead actressRenée Zellweger remembers how to act in this simple biopic, delivering her best performance since Cold Mountain in 2003, however despite the good intentions, the film cannot help feeling like a vehicle to grant nominations to its lead actress in the coming awards season, instead of saying something more interesting about Judy Garland Expand
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10
manningn15Jan 25, 2020
Judy was a beautiful and very respectful portrayal of the last year of Judy Garlands life. The movie was a beautifully heartwarming and heartbreaking movie. Renée Zellweger's performance was exceptional, one of the best acting performances IJudy was a beautiful and very respectful portrayal of the last year of Judy Garlands life. The movie was a beautifully heartwarming and heartbreaking movie. Renée Zellweger's performance was exceptional, one of the best acting performances I have ever seen. The soundtrack was excellent and Zellweger's voice was outstanding. The hairstyling and makeup were phenomenal especially on Renée Zellweger, Rufus Sewell, and Bella Ramsey. The costumes were stupendous especially the ones that Renée Zellweger wore. This is my 2nd favorite biographical movie and one of my favorite movies of all time and was a definite A+ movie. Rest in Peace Judy Garland, we will never forget you. Expand
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6
amheretojudgeSep 28, 2019
Zellweger's come back is a roar that does not shut others up but provokes them to sing along.

Judy Rupert Goold has an excellent vision on how to treat a biography as sensitive as such. And he is extremely delicate in his procedure as well.
Zellweger's come back is a roar that does not shut others up but provokes them to sing along.

Judy

Rupert Goold has an excellent vision on how to treat a biography as sensitive as such. And he is extremely delicate in his procedure as well. Fortunately, it works only for Renee Zellweger's powerful performance does all the heavy lifting. And when it comes for her to set back and relax, Goold takes charge by just cradling her with a warm, warm environment which tears up our eyes with its generosity. There are scenes so unique that would make you cry. Cry out that there is no way someone could make this up. It has to be real. Which is one of the best doses of realization that you can whip to your audience in a biography genre.

Last time, I saw that happen was in Damien Chazelle's finest film First Man. There is this scene in the middle of the film, where Judy played by Renee Zellweger encounters her fans and asks for them to take her for dinner. This spirals out one of my favourite and possibly the best scene of the film. And I don't know whether it is a metaphor to the storyline that she has been a part of since her career began at an early age or a mature take on the narration or just unawareness.

The film doesn't shine the light on the higher nuanced theme as such and instead shoves other cliched fame and defamed aspects of the characters to the front of the stage. It is somewhat like putting two bitter pills in a beloved ice cream cone to lure a kid in. Either we know that those two pills are for our betterment or we just love that flavour, the makers are hitting a safe chord sung calculatively by Zellweger through her facial expression. At the end of the show, you'd have little to remember by and little to complain.
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8
GLADIADORFeb 3, 2020
Filme muito bonito sobre a vida e carreira em declinio de judy garland, e o final é muito emocionante, quase chorei
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7
MarkHReviewsOct 16, 2019
It’s ironic that a movie about Judy Garland, notorious for her recklessness and on-the-edge behavior, plays it so safe. The script’s major downfall is its by-the-numbers approach. We have the obligatory flashbacks to establish childhoodIt’s ironic that a movie about Judy Garland, notorious for her recklessness and on-the-edge behavior, plays it so safe. The script’s major downfall is its by-the-numbers approach. We have the obligatory flashbacks to establish childhood trauma. We see the ongoing ravages of drug and alcohol abuse. We conclude with a big, moving finale.

This lack of structural creativity, though, certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go along for the ride. As Garland, Renee Zellweger is fantastic. After reportedly working with a vocal coach for over a year, Zellweger sings all of her own songs – no lip-synching, no “amalgamation” of voices (we’re looking at you, “Bohemian Rhapsody”) – just honest, unadulterated excellence. As an actress, Zellweger is equally adept, persuasively capturing Garland’s unique mixture of bravado, insecurity and performance genius.

“Judy” covers the period early in 1969 when Garland had a six-week run of shows at the Talk of the Town Theater in London (it’s now the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square). From press reports at the time, Garland was consistently late to go on stage and her performances were erratic. Those close to her said she was terrified to face these live audiences, but ironically would often arrive so late that all the goodwill in the room had already dissipated. Just another chapter in her epic of self-destruction.

Toward the end of the film, Director Robert Goold (“True Story”) and Screenwriter Tom Edge (“The Crown,” “CB Strike”) redeem themselves by suggesting compellingly that Garland’s greatest love-hate relationship, and perhaps her greatest addiction, was with fame itself. There’s also the ironic suggestion that, while her close relationships were generally disasters (she was married five times), her relationships with audiences were much more fully requited.

Like Garland herself, this film is far from perfect. But also like Garland herself, the redemptive moments – particularly with Zellweger belting onstage – make it easy to forgive and forget what came before and what follows.
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3
JumpCut_OnlineOct 20, 2019
It is slightly regretful that Zellweger is considered a lock for Best Actress (people were saying this two months before the film was released and at least six months before the ceremony itself) because my hope would be that the performanceIt is slightly regretful that Zellweger is considered a lock for Best Actress (people were saying this two months before the film was released and at least six months before the ceremony itself) because my hope would be that the performance would come from a better-written and more interesting film than this. This is not to fault Zellweger per se – she does a wonderful job in what is a standard biopic role – but there is nothing about this film that is particularly memorable or special (other than the opening and closing scenes – for ALL the wrong reasons). Judy is better directed than it is written, it has a good supporting turn from Wittrock, Gambon and Buckley are unfortunately largely wasted, but this is ultimately The Renee Show. I think I would rather watch the scenery-chewing high camp of Zellweger’s femme fatale in the Netflix show What/If – which at least knows it’s ridiculous – than ever watch this again. A shame. Expand
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5
Mauro_LanariFeb 8, 2020
(Mauro Lanari)
There's sunset and sunset: at least "Laurel & Hardy" (Baird, 2018) showed the tragedy behind the comedy, while "Judy" revolves around Zellweger's performance and the script idles around the self-referentiality of the star
(Mauro Lanari)
There's sunset and sunset: at least "Laurel & Hardy" (Baird, 2018) showed the tragedy behind the comedy, while "Judy" revolves around Zellweger's performance and the script idles around the self-referentiality of the star system/showbiz critique. Useful for a bit of gossip: Garland's stature was 147 cm.
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8
JoeSabinDec 25, 2019
Having grown up watching "The Wizard of Oz" this view of the star and the behind the scenes view was sad. Renée Zellweger did a remarkable job of holding steady to her character "Judy" throughout the movie. There were times I watched withHaving grown up watching "The Wizard of Oz" this view of the star and the behind the scenes view was sad. Renée Zellweger did a remarkable job of holding steady to her character "Judy" throughout the movie. There were times I watched with tears in my eyes. There were also some slow parts where my mind wandered, thus the 8-level rating. My wife wanted to see this, I'm so glad she did. What we've done collectively to our child stars is horrific. We give it two thumbs up. Expand
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8
jared1209Feb 5, 2020
This is a beautiful tribute for all Judy fans, obviously she would have hated it but this is for her eternal fans. Judy's later years & death are notorious headlines for the era so its extremely interesting to see an artists (director &This is a beautiful tribute for all Judy fans, obviously she would have hated it but this is for her eternal fans. Judy's later years & death are notorious headlines for the era so its extremely interesting to see an artists (director & actress) interruption and ode to Judy's last performances. I appreciated Renée actually singing everything however when its meant to be an iconic voice such as Judy's maybe they should have used the Bohemian Rhapsody technique of lip syncing to the originals. Better stoned. Expand
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10
PetsitterGlobalOct 16, 2019
Transcendent! Rene Zellweger's performance was as iconic as the icon she portrayed. Rene was so immersed in the role that by the end of the movie she didn't even look like herself any more. This is a must-see mesmerizing performance of aTranscendent! Rene Zellweger's performance was as iconic as the icon she portrayed. Rene was so immersed in the role that by the end of the movie she didn't even look like herself any more. This is a must-see mesmerizing performance of a lifetime. It's a tragic story, but it inspired me to remember to choose courage and compassion over criticism and condemnation. Expand
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3
ANANAKIOct 21, 2019
As a Judy fan I was grossed out at the attempted narrative of the Idol that was Judy. How could a Movie that was depicting Judy's life miss so much of the story! It went from her movie hit Wizard of oz. To her London shows. There was noAs a Judy fan I was grossed out at the attempted narrative of the Idol that was Judy. How could a Movie that was depicting Judy's life miss so much of the story! It went from her movie hit Wizard of oz. To her London shows. There was no depiction of
1) MGM mistreatment of her body and her drugging That caused so many problems in her mental state
2) her comparing to other women in the industry at the time like Heidi lamarr and how many times they placed her on diets of cottage cheese and chicken soup. 3) her other movies no mention of meet me in St. Luis no Harvey girls, no Zigfield Girls not even the mistreatment that the choreographer gave her during the filming of Easter parade and 4) her leaving MGM and Eating a Hamburger for the first time
5) her relationship with men and how her mother forced them on her. And the husband that they did depict did not go into detail about how he abused both her and her children. 6) her show, the flop that was pirate or her recasting in valley of the dolls. 7) Her children having to hide pills and liquor bottles This movie is Oscar bait and I will not stay silent about it, because this woman was a legend and has had enough mistreatment from her image and other people. If you want to watch a movie about judy at least keep her Voice in! I did not enjoy the the music being Re dubbed.
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3
SarahWillaimsonNov 5, 2019
Yes Zellweger is good but she is not outstanding, the film itself is lackluster and forgettable.
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7
HollywoodGleeNov 27, 2019
Judy, directed by Rupert Goold (True Story), screen written by Tom Edge, and starring Renee Zellwegger (Chicago, Bridget Jones Diary, Jerry Maguire) made its world premiere, Saturday, August 31st, 2019, in Telluride, Colorado.

Renee
Judy, directed by Rupert Goold (True Story), screen written by Tom Edge, and starring Renee Zellwegger (Chicago, Bridget Jones Diary, Jerry Maguire) made its world premiere, Saturday, August 31st, 2019, in Telluride, Colorado.

Renee Zellwegger's performance as Judy Garland is not only spot-on as she brings out the humanity of one of America's showbiz icons dealing with an overbearing Hollywood industry, conniving husbands and an overwhelming desire for normalcy, it is also heartfelt and disciplined as Zellwegger captures the spirit and tenacity of Garland's stage persona and her withering attempts in living life on life's terms. Set in the winter months of 1968, showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week, sold-out run at The Talk of the Town, formerly known as the London Hippodrome Theatre and Restaurant. It has been 30 years since Garland shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz and while her voice may have weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As Garland prepares for the show, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. All the while, her wit and warmth shine brilliantly through the camera lens. Makeup and hair designer Jeremy Woodhead earns his pay and then some as Zellwegger's likeness is uncanny - a real "spit n' image" if there ever was one!

Director Goold cut his teeth directing stage performances and in creating the film Judy adapts a musical, "End of the Rainbow," dealing with a similar time frame of Garland's career - stands to reason the most powerful scenes are those with Zellweger on stage performing as Judy Garland. Cinematographer Ole Bratt Birkeland adds some crafty work here as well. Despite not singing onscreen since her performance in Chicago, Zellwegger's voice in these moments themselves makes the film truly extraordinary. Moreover, Goold adds a theatrical vision to his flashbacks of Garlands early years as a child performer under the auspices of an imposing studio head in the form of movie mogul, Luis B. Mayer that is surreal and disturbing to the sensibilities and lend credibility to Garland's pill and alcohol addiction.

As the film delves into the dreamlike (nightmarish) flashbacks of Garland's childhood-crushing experiences at the hands Mayer, Garland continues to forge forward with her London tour determined to regain custody of her children while her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband, all the while seeking to protect and raise her children. Featuring some of Judy Garland's best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.” Gabriel Yared handles the quiet, heartbreaking score while Zellwegger delivers stirring, moving Garland musical performances evoking an awareness of a thought, "Is this live or Memorex?" Hats off to Renee Zellwegger, the sound team and Adrian Bell (sound mixer).

Judy is a highly recommended film.



Judy Director, Rupert Goold, explains his directorial style during a Q & A following a screening at the Werner Herzog Theatre in Telluride, Colo., on September 1, 2019. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)
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