There is an image around the middle of Judy_, which captures Judy Garland (Zellweger) descending in her dressing room, her head bent, a cigarette burning in her hand, surrounded by flowers wall to wall, exhausted garland before literal garlands. It is a moment that reaches the heart of the last days of Garland's life, the distinction between private and public, despair and sadness crystallizing in the light of pink. This is something that Rupert Gould's movie fails again. Because, despite the impressive performance of Renee Zellweger, Judy never exposes the gloomy heart of Garland's final years, making a pleasantly dramatic movie behind the scenes until she manages to get under the skin of her main character.
Like much better last year by _Stan & Ollie_ (she shares the character in the show business, Bernard Delfont), Tom Edge's screenplay views Garland in the lens of late life in the UK, engaged in flashbacks to key moments in her early years as a kid star. After a talk show in Los Angeles (Gemma-Leah Devereux is a dead spit for Lisa Minelli), things are picking up when Garland arrives in London, refuses to rehearse and then knocks "By Myself" out of the park. Garland is paired with Assistant Specialist Ross (Jesse Buckley, using some of his talents), and the ensuing fight to get Garland on stage is fun. We see glimpses of other areas of Garland's life ̵
The future struggle to prepare the Garland scene is entertaining.
The movie is less certain when it comes to dealing with Garland's past. Scattered in the 1960s are flashbacks to young Judy in Hollywood's 1930s, who are ugly ashamed on the set of The Wizard of Oz by Louis B. Meyer, denied French frying with Mickey Rooney up to control her weight and act of rebellion when she jumps into the tank of a manufactured birthday party organized two months before the actual date. Yet the connection between Judy Mayer's brutal rule and her problems in later life feels simplistic, psychoanalysis 101, which undermines any attempt at complexity. Equally banal is the London storyline involving Garland and two gay fans (Andy Nyman, Daniel Cherkeira), who feels fully designed to pay homage to Garland's status as a gay icon rather than offer any sense of compelling organic drama.
This is a small movie that never successfully evokes the scale of old-school Hollywood – the LA sequences feel very stage-bound – or the London of the '60s. Zellweather goes some way to shaping Judy's loss – there is a touching late moment when Judy calls her daughter Lorna (Bela Ramsey) home – and goes to smash the scene, barring her way through "The Wheelchair Song" or smoldering " Come rain Or come light. " Still, the movie really stumbles upon its great climax, drawing in a cheap gimmick, turning one of Hollywood's saddest and most tragic stories into a moment where you feel good. Garland – and Zellweger – deserved much more.
Judy is an enjoyable, genuine attempt to present a multifaceted portrait of a Hollywood legend, backed by the powerful Renee Zellweger. Yet he never finds the intricacies and depths to make it compelling, and the "inspirational" ending reduces a sad, complicated life.