Review for Judy 2019
Judy Garland was one of the most famous Hollywood stars of the Twentieth Century. Her role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz made her an International Icon and I can't think of a single person who doesn't know who she is. This film does not focus on the highs, but rather on the end and the lowest of lows. in 1968 nearly thirty years after Oz made her a star she is unable to get a role, and is regarded as unreliable and unhirable. Her ex-husband takes his children and she must go to London to play a series of shows to gain enough money so that she will be able to give her children a stable home. However, with Judy's troubled past and demons that haunt her, stability may not be easy for her to achieve.
This film is so strange to watch and I think the reason is simply this: I'm not a fan of Judy Garland. I can't comment on whether Rene Zellweger does a spot on Judy impression as I have no idea what that would be. Her command of the performance is phenomenal and her singing is perfect, but whether it compares to the original I have no idea. Seeing the downfall of this star is a very familiar story, such as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, you can see the past haunting her in flashbacks to when she started in the business. Sadly, these scenes with a young Judy Garland being played by Darci Shaw were far more interesting than the downfall story they were trying to tell. Her being manipulated by studio head Louis B. Mayer was fantastic. If this had been a two part film with Zellweger playing the older Judy in the second part it might have been a lot more enjoyable.
As it is, this film feels like an attempt to dwell on the misery, lighten it with some songs and hope that people can get behind this doomed star. For me, the film just goes on and on to the point where I was restless and wanting something more interesting to happen, but it never did. Apart from Zellweger no one else shines in the film to become interesting to watch and this is a shame.
There are very few Special Features with this film which I am not sure is a good thing or not. Three Deleted Scenes really add nothing to the film and you cab see why they were cut, two Trailers are fine and do their job and there are two Featurettes a Four Minute Behind the Scenes which is far too short to even explain anything about the film, how or why it was made and was really just a fluff piece. The other one is a two minute look at how Rene Zellweger got into the role of Judy Garland. To spend two minutes on this is pathethic. I would bet they could have talked for hours just on getting the voice and singing right, but it's just a quick look at everything with no substance.
Judy should and could have been amazing, but instead it is just one great performance surrounded by a rather lacklustre plot. There is no gold at the end of this rainbow.