Judy review round-up: Renee Zellweger is 'persuasive' in a 'standard issue biopic heartwarmer'

FP Staff

Aug 31, 2019 17:54:18 IST

Judy, the biopic of Judy Garland starring Renée Zellweger as the late Hollywood icon, had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on 30 August. Thus, the first set of critics' reviews have also started tumbling in.

 Judy review round-up: Renee Zellweger is persuasive in a standard issue biopic heartwarmer

Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland. Image from Twitter

Directed by Rupert Goold, Judy explores Garland's life almost three decades after her role in The Wizard of Oz. The film also stars Rufus Sewell (Garland's third husband Sidney Luft), Bella Ramsey (Lorna Luft), Gemma-Leah Devereux (Liza Minelli), and Michael Gambon (Bernard Delfont). Chernobyl actress Jessie Buckley will also be seen in a pivotal role.

Here's what critics are saying about the movie

Variety: "With the help of some expert makeup, hairstyling and costuming, her (Zellweger) inhabitation of Garland is persuasive without being exhaustive; it’s a very different feat from the eerie, brilliant channeling that Judy Davis achieved to Emmy-winning effect in the 2003 miniseries Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. ...Steering away from lurid fallen-angel cliché, it recontextualizes Garland’s story for a post-#MeToo audience mindful of women abused and disempowered by the industry."

The Hollywood Reporter: "He (Rupert Goold, director) sometimes tries a little too hard to make the material cinematic, but he certainly works beautifully with Zellweger, who brings off a bravura performance that even the notoriously sharp-witted Garland would have applauded."

The Guardian: "Judy is really a standard-issue biopic heartwarmer about a Hollywood star in decline and in Blighty: a bit like the recent Stan & Ollie, about Laurel and Hardy’s final British tours. We get the usual sobering biographical grace notes over the final credits, although not the traditional black-and-white photos of the real-life people, perhaps because Judy Garland is just too well known. The film sugarcoats Garland’s physical deterioration, her addictions, her wretchedness and her mortality."

The Wrap: Zellweger likely lands in the Oscar race with this performance. It is not just the best thing she’s ever done but a tender, memorable realization of a star who once shined very brightly but whose light was never built to last.

Empire: "It’s a small film that never successfully evokes the scale of old-school Hollywood — the LA sequences feel very stage-bound — or the louche London of the ’60s. Zellweger goes some way to etching Judy’s loss, yet the film really stumbles in its big climax, pulling a cheap trick, parlaying one of Hollywood’s saddest, most tragic stories into a feel-good moment. Garland — and Zellweger — deserved so much more."

The Great Diwali Discount!
Unlock 75% more savings this festive season. Get Moneycontrol Pro for a year for Rs 289 only.
Coupon code: DIWALI. Offer valid till 10th November, 2019 .

Updated Date: Aug 31, 2019 17:55:51 IST