Star is re­born

Canning Gazette - - FILM -

BIOPICS are a tricky beast; the com­plex­ity of real life can never be neatly pack­aged into a film-length nar­ra­tive, yet chang­ing facts and smooth­ing things over can lead to some­thing that feels less than authen­tic.

What a biopic can ac­com­plish is to delve be­hind the celebrity sta­tus to ex­plore the essence of the per­son and that is ex­actly what Re­nee Zell­weger does in Judy.

In 1969 Judy Garland (Zell­weger) is strug­gling to make ends meet, un­able to book gigs due to her Judy. FEA­TURE FLICK un­re­li­able rep­u­ta­tion and turned away from her ho­tel suite for a missed pay­ment.

She is told that in Lon­don she still has fans and so is forced to leave her chil­dren with ex-hus­band Sid­ney Luft (Ru­fus Sewell) and fly to Eng­land to per­form nightly shows to make enough money to gain full cus­tody again.

Although she has peo­ple lin­ing up to see her, Garland’s se­vere stage fright and ad­dic­tion to pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion makes her late to her own show and leads to ine­bri­ated be­hav­iour on stage.

The film around her is stan­dard biopic fare, though Garland’s friend­ship with her Lon­don as­sis­tant (Jessie Buck­ley) and pi­anist (Royce Pier­re­son) is par­tic­u­larly sweet, but with this part Zell­weger is a star re­born.

Re­nee Zell­weger as Judy Garland in

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