Promise you won't forget me.
Show business has not been kind to one of its biggest stars and Judy Garland (Renee Zellweger)is forced to move to London to do a string of shows in 1968 in order to earn enough money to give her children a stable home.
Everyone knows who Judy Garland is but just how deeply? I can admit that I don't know everything about her. Sure, I knew about her life in broad strokes, I've seen a handful of her movies and listened to her music, but I've never read a biography or watched a documentary on her. So in that aspect, I didn't have any expectations for how they told Judy's story. That worked in my favor as the film follows a very standard biopic formula.
The one thing I was worried about going in was Zellweger. With the way the trailer was cut, it gave me the impression that she was going to be pulling a face the entire movie to try to make herself look like Garland, and that wasn't the case. The makeup and her acting were not distracting at all. In fact, she was wonderful. I love that she did her own singing too. She's not as strong as Judy. How many people are? But she tried. Anyone could've lip synced, but she went for it.
Where the film lacks is the context around Garland's life. We know it's specifically about her time in London, but the flashbacks they chose are also very specific to the Wizard of Oz, and I felt like they should've chosen to show more of her life besides that. It would've painted a better picture just how far Judy fell. It certainly hints at it, but seeing her on sets of her other films would've been a nice touch.
The supporting acts are slightly uneven. There's a beautiful story with a gay couple that comes to see Judy's shows that is the highlight of the film, but then there's her relationship with her stage manager that I felt could've been explored more. I kept expecting a heart to heart conversation to happen and it never did. It was just kind of there.
Ultimately, this was pretty good. If you are a hardcore Judy fan, you may find it a bit lacking but if you're somewhere in the middle, it should work for you.
Memorable Quote: "Do you have kids? Don't. It's like living with a piece of your heart outside of your body." - Judy (Renee Zellweger)