Skip to main content

Renée Zellweger excels as Judy Garland in the new biopic Judy.

David Hindley/The Associated Press

  • Judy
  • Directed by Rupert Goold
  • Written by Tom Edge
  • Starring Renée Zellweger, Finn Wittrock and Jessie Buckley
  • Classification PG
  • 118 minutes

rating

This is one of those solo turns where the star performance matters more than the story, and Renée Zellweger, playing the legendary singer Judy Garland in her sad last months – broke, anxious, drunk, rueful, but still in it – gives it everything she’s got. She looks sensational (if scary-skinny) in the clothes, she works the prosthetic teeth, she belts out the tunes, she shimmers like 10,000 sequins.

Films opening this weekend: Renée Zellweger’s star performance as Judy, the adorable Abominable and haunting Monos

Screenwriter Tom Edge, adapting Peter Quilter’s stage play End of the Rainbow, does his best to put a fresh spin on familiar scenes: Judy the child star, being bullied by Louis B. Mayer; Judy the insomniac, lost in a lifelong cycle of uppers and downers; Judy the trouper, who comes alive under the lights. But unfortunately, we don’t learn anything new about showbiz or what specific things in Judy’s specific character kept her trapped in her doomed arc.

Story continues below advertisement

And though Zellweger sounds terrific, she’s not Garland. No one could be. Those who loved Garland put up with anything, forgave everything, because of that voice. I miss her voice.

Judy opens Sept. 27

Live your best. We have a daily Life & Arts newsletter, providing you with our latest stories on health, travel, food and culture. Sign up today.

Related topics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies