Renée Zellweger plays Judy Garland
The biopic "Judy" gives the singer and actress Judy Garland something very valuable: the dignity of a very special destiny.
For all non-fans, their life is just a cliché. Judy Garland – one of the child stars who failed early fame. Their adult lives were marked by drug addiction and scandals, the last of which was their own death, which occurred much too early at the age of 47. Which, even 50 years later, cannot be said today whether it was suicide or an accident or an intricate mixture of the two. A typical Hollywood woman's life, the final humiliation of which is to consider her example today as one of many when she was unique in her day.
Rupert Goold's biopic "Judy" uses a double Judy in need. First you see her as a 16 year old on the set of The Wizard of Oz, where an ice-cold business takes no account of the psychological or physical well-being of young people. Then the actual film begins with the 46-year-old singer, who returns from a long tour home with her two children in tow and has to discover there that the apartment has been canceled due to outstanding rental payments.
The routine with which she copes with the situation through a mixture of stubborn denial and mechanical implementation of an emergency program shows that this is not the first time. When the ex-husband threatens to withdraw custody, Judy has to accept the unpopular offer of a tour of England in order to get back on her feet financially.
Garland's five-week Lodon guest appearance
The events surrounding Garland's five-week guest appearance in the London “Talk of the Town” club in spring 1969 form the heart of the film. The story tells of the humiliations and defeats as well as the last triumphs of a woman suffering from alcohol and pill addiction, whose charismatic charisma and great talent for voice still shine through through all acts of self-destruction.
In a somewhat parabolic-mechanical way, the film in its supporting characters brings to the point everything that makes life so difficult for them: the unscrupulous exploitation by changing impresarios and changing lovers, the often cowardly reluctance of assistants and doctors who don't want to mess with the star , and the difficult-to-bear alternating bath between being idolized and demonized.
In flashbacks the film returns her time back as a child star und shows the brutality of the company, which had girls' bodies with stimulants, dietary measures and reductions. Even the intimate, insightful veneration by the gay audience of the 1960s, which the film illustrates in episodes, cannot alleviate the consequences of this trauma.
Zellweger melts your heart
As a more or less classic biopic, "Judy" delivers little new. But the film is worth it because it gives Judy Garland back the dignity of a very special fate. The main reason for this is that he succeeds Renée Zellweger's appearance, which has a truly transformative quality: Zellweger melts the hearts of the audience.
"Judy". Directed by Rupert Goold. With Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley u. a. Great Britain / USA 2019, 118 minutes
Although she doesn't just imitate Garland – hairstyle and make-up ensure maximum approximation, but below that Zellweger always remains recognizable as herself. She also sings herself – and hits the tone of the no longer perfect so precisely that the re-enacted club performances become vibrantly emotional highlights.
Zellweger not only plays Garland as a helpless addict, but also reveals the remnants of strengths that are part of a career like theirs: a defiant belief in romance while being extremely hard on yourself. In the end, you mourn for this unique woman, as if she had just died.