Monday, September 30, 2019


I was off today so I went to see the new film biography of Judy Garland called simply Judy. It starred Renée Zellweger. I have to admit I am not a Zellweger fan, and the last movie I saw her in was 2002's Chicago, which was also a musical. Renee Zellweger did not just do well as Judy Garland in the film, she became Judy Garland! I am so glad I took the time to go see the movie, all be it by myself. It was a great movie experience that I have not had in a long time.

The film uses flashbacks to tell the story of how young Judy Garland became worn out Judy Garland. The head of MGM, Louis B. Mayer tortured the young Garland, and the studio was first responsible for getting Judy hooked on drugs and afraid to eat. They called her ugly and fat, and Mayer made it out like Judy was his favorite, but all she was to the studio was a money maker. Mayer has been dead over sixty years, but I hope he is rotting in hell for what he did to Judy Garland and many other young stars at MGM.

Most of Judy takes place in late 1968/early 1969. By this time, even though Judy Garland was only 47, she had burnt most of her bridges. No record company or big name venue wanted to use her. She had gone through four husbands, and all she wanted to do was be with her children. To do that she needed to make some money, so she embarked on a strenuous stint in London, England. The English revered Garland much like the French did for Jerry Lewis. Judy by this time could not function without her pills and booze. The first few performances turned out well for Garland, but soon her old demons got the best of her. The movie ended like Judy's own life did, on a sad note.

Judy Garland and fifth husband Mickey Deans
There is not much wrong with this film. I was nervous to hear Renée Zellweger do her own singing. I mean who can compare to the singing of Judy Garland, but she does a great job. She did not imitate Garland which was wise, but she did her own version. There were a couple mistakes in the movie. In a flashback scene with a young Judy and Mickey Rooney in the late 1930s a song from 1953 is heard in the background. There is some changes to the story about the marriage of Judy to piano player Mickey Deans (her fifth and final husband). The film had that they got married during her performances in London, but they got married after. Also, the film depicted Mickey Deans leaving Judy, when in reality he stayed with her, and it was he who discovered Garland died on the morning of June 22, 1969.

Still, this film is one of the best movies I have seen in years. I went during an early matinee showing, and the theater was nearly sold out. It was filled with mostly older women, but I was happy to see some couples, and some people younger than I. If you love Judy Garland go see this movie. If Renée Zellweger does not win the Oscar for Judy, then it is the biggest rip off since Judy Garland herself did not win the Oscar for 1954's A Star Is Born. The movie Judy is a film biography that should not be missed...


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