Judy (2019) Movie Review

Director: Rupert Goold

Writer: Tom Edge (Screenplay) Peter Quilter (Stageplay)

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Rufus Sewell, Jessie Buckley, Michael Gambom, Finn Wittrock, Gaia Weiss, Bella Ramsey

Plot: Legendary performer Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.


Tagline – Judy Garland: the legend behind the rainbow.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Zellweger Shines

Story: Judy starts in the late 1960’s where screen legend Judy Garland (Zellweger) has been running low on money, struggling to keep a roof over her children’s heads, she must let her ex-husband Sidney Luft (Sewell) look after them, while she travels to London, where she has a fan base dying to see her in sell-out concerts.

In London Judy is managed by Rosalyn Wilder (Buckley) who must make sure she makes the shows, Judy is trying to make the money, while experiencing the flashbacks of her time working on the Wizard of Oz, being order into certain diets, being controlled. She does make new friends and learns about her own personal problems.

Thoughts on Judy

Characters – Judy Garland is the screen legend, she has been struggling in the mid-40s with a reputation that claims she is difficult, needing to find a way to have an income, she moves to London for a string of shows, which soon sell out, giving her a chance at recovering her career, only her demons will continue to haunt her. Sidney Luft is the ex-husband that wants to have custody of their children back in America. Rosalyn Wilder is trying to manage Judy on the London, she does what she can, getting the most out of her. Bernard Delfont is financing the concerts, he is left disappointed with Judy, echoing what it was like for her as a child star. Most of the supporting characters don’t get much to do, while we focus a lot more on Judy’s life.

PerformancesRenee Zellweger is fantastic in this leading role, completely controlling the scenes, making us feel every emotion that Judy would go through. Rufus Sewell, Jessie Buckley and Michael Gambon are all strong, though they don’t get much to work with.

StoryThe story here follows Judy Garland’s arrival in London for a set of concerts, hoping to revive her career, only her past demons and reputation come back to haunt her once again. The story might show more of her time on the big stage in London which is all fine, but the tragic side of her story only comes in small flashbacks, these scenes are filled with pain and would have been a lot more interesting to see, just how badly she was treated at a young age by the blossoming Hollywood system. We don’t see much between The Wizard of Oz and 1968 either, which is where her bad reputation comes from, this would have also been nice to see, what caused this reputation, was it fair etc. we just seem to skip a lot, despite how interesting the loneliness Judy is experiencing in London would be.

BiopicWe only get to see a couple of moments from Judy’s life, part of the making of Wizard of Oz and then her 1968 concert tour in London, different stages of her career, different problems in her life.

SettingsThe film has a couple of main settings, the set of Wizard of Oz, the stage in London and the hotel where she was staying in her time in London, they show her strength, her weakness and the place that broke her early in her life.


Scene of the Movie – Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not learning enough about why Judy became difficult to work with.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting biopic, where we get to see a difficult stage of her career, Zellweger is fantastic and elevates this film to new levels.

Overall: Nice Biopic, With Something Missing.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – C – Chaplin (1992)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: William Boy, Bryan Forbes, William Goldman (Screenplay) David Robinson, Charles Chaplin (Book)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys, John Thaw, Moira Kelly, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Marisa Tomei

 

Plot: A movie about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.


Tagline – Everyone has a wild side. Even a legend.

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Biopic

 

Story: Chaplin starts as an older Charlie (Downey Jr) is telling his life story to his publicist George Hayden (Hopkins), we move back to 1894 when Charlie first took the stage, taking over from his mother Hannah (Chaplin) who froze on stage. Charlie and his brother Sydney (Rhys) had to learn to adapt to the rough life in London. Charlie soon became one of the hottest prospects in comedy performance in England.

We see how Charlie moved to America with the dawn of the motion pictures, being given a job on the production of Mack Sennett’s (Aykroyd) movies. We see just how fast Charlie became the biggest name in comedy getting his own studio, while continuing his own vices, young women. Charlie made enemies along the way which would lead to the downfall of his career.

 

Thoughts on Chaplin

 

Characters – Charlie Chaplin is one of the most influential men in comedy history, we follow his life, through his own autobiography, from is tough upbringing for the child labour camps in England, to his break out in comedy in England. He would go on to become a sensation of the motion picture world, only to fail to make adapt to American life when the Talkies came into circulation. He made enemies which would see his career come to an end. Outside the celebrity status, he finds himself drawn to teenage women which would see him go through multiply marriages, never finding true happiness. George Hayden is the one learning the story from Charlie, he is pushing him into going over each of the details of her story. Sydney is Charlie’s older brother, he helped get him started and became his manager, he tries to help Charlie make the right decisions to keep his career in Hollywood. Douglas Fairbank is another one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, he is one friend Charlie never seems to lose through his time there.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr gives his career best performance here, he is stunning as Charlie, be it recreating the iconic moments or the personal life situations. Anthony Hopkins is wonderful too even just in an almost narration role, while the whole cast which is huge makes the impact they need to for their own roles.

StoryThe story here follows Charlie Chaplin’s career from his poor beginnings right up to the moment the Academy finally recognised his work. We get to see his personal life his many marriages which didn’t go to plan because of his work. We do get to see how the films were made, how the Tramp became the biggest character in comedy history. We see how the tension in Hollywood only made him an enemy forcing him out of the country and how his failure to truly adapt to the talkie era saw his career come to an abrupt end. If you want to see the career of one of the greatest comedians of all time, this is how the story comes to the light.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic shows the career of Charlie Chaplin we get to see his professional and personal life through his career to see just how much lost potential his career had. The comedy in this film comes from just how certain moments will get laughs along the way.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings of the world that you would expect when it comes to looking it Hollywood in the early 19th century.


Scene of the Movie –
The Oscars moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of Hoover’s scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best biopics that you will see, it has the life and career of one of the biggest names in Hollywood history and makes us understand the difficulties he will have gone through.

 

Overall: Biopic for a true legend.

Rating