Monday, August 5, 2019


It's admittedly pretty early to start making Oscar predictions for 2020, but if you feel so inclined, Renée Zellweger is looking solidly like a Best Actress contender for her performance in the biopic Judy. Chronicling the final year in the tumultuous life of Judy Garland, the film will depict Garland's struggles with addiction, depression, and stage fright, as well as her relationship with her fifth husband Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock). It'll also be released in late September, a.k.a. right in the thick of For Your Consideration season.

The film is slated for release in U.S. theaters on September 27, 2019 with Zellweger is, of course, the star of the show as Judy, and her remarkable transformation is clear in the photos and trailer that have been released so far. 17-year-old British actress Darci Shaw plays the younger Judy. Rufus Sewell plays her second husband Sidney Luft, while Finn Wittrock plays her fifth husband Mickey Deans, and Michael Gambon plays manager Bernard Delfont, who managed the London nightclub where Judy performed her last concerts.

In case you're not familiar with the extraordinary real story of Garland's life, she started acting as a child, and became famous practically overnight at the age of 20, after starring as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She subsequently struggled throughout her life with depression and drug addiction, and died at the age of 47 from an accidental drug overdose.

Judy takes place in 1968, the year before Garland's death, and focuses on her final series of concerts in London. Here's the full synopsis as reported by Deadline:

Set in winter 1968, the story takes place 30 years after Garland played the iconic role of Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. When she arrives in Swinging London to prepare for a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. Even her dreams of romance seem undimmed as she embarks on a courtship with Mickey Deans, her soon to be fifth husband. And yet Garland is fragile. After working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood and gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids.

In other words, it sounds like this movie is going to break your heart.

“When there’s a better understanding of what it takes for a person to continue under certain circumstances there is a level of empathy and respect that you can’t help but feel,” Zellweger told People about the role. "What she had to overcome in a time when women didn’t necessarily feel that they had power over their own lives in the way that we do today. That stayed with me and I hope folks will be moved by that as well.”

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