Judy

Judy

2019, PG-13, 118 min. Directed by Rupert Goold. Starring Renée Zellweger, Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Andy Nyman, David Rubin, Darci Shaw, Royce Pierreson, Bella Ramsey.

REVIEWED By Steve Davis, Fri., Sept. 27, 2019

Judy Garland will forever be remembered as the sweet girl in pigtails who longingly sang about a happy place over the rainbow where dreams really do come true. But in her all-too-brief life, Garland never found the bliss imagined in the song, plagued by personal, financial, and professional troubles for the world to see. She drank too much, popped too many pills, married the wrong men, and attempted suicide on several occasions. Tragically, this gifted artist died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates in 1969, at the unfathomable age of 47. In the years following her death, the popular narrative that developed about Garland and her tumultuous life enshrined her as a casualty of the entertainment industry, her exceptional artistry relegated to an afterthought. Quite unfairly, she’s become yet another showbiz cautionary tale to be pitied. Poor, poor Judy.

The biopic Judy, which takes place during the last year of the singer’s life, embraces the Garland-as-victim mythos from the outset, though the movie never denies her tremendous talents. (Hopefully, the film may prompt the unfamiliar to further investigate her on YouTube.) In the awkwardly overlong opening scene taking place on the soundstage of The Wizard of Oz, studio mogul Louis B. Meyer heartlessly manipulates an impressionable teenaged Frances Gumm (Garland’s birth name) as both wander along the yellow-brick road that would ultimately make her a star. This Technicolored flashback is one of a handful of similar scenes encapsulating Garland’s shitty childhood as an indentured servant to MGM, seemingly inserted in the movie to glibly explain the hot-mess adult you meet three decades later. They all announce: See what they did to her as a kid?

Once the movie actually begins, a frazzled Garland (Zellweger) is dragging her two young children from hotel to hotel, trying to stay one step ahead of unpaid bills as she struggles to find a paycheck in an industry burned one too many times by her unreliable behavior. Desperate, she accepts a lucrative gig overseas to perform a series of concerts at London’s Talk of the Town, thinking it might be the springboard for yet another comeback in a seesawed career. Tom Edge’s script, which is loosely based on Peter Quilter’s West End stage drama, smooths over some of the play’s hard truths about Garland during this twilight period of her life, explaining her self-destructive behavior during the bumpy concert run as triggered by offenses, both real and imagined, committed against her by an insensitive world.

Zellweger gives a fearless performance in this movie. She captures the essence of Garland with such immersive nuance that the line between the actor and the role doesn’t only disappear, it’s as if it never existed. The inflection in her voice when making a self-deprecating joke, the way she sits in a chair smoking a cigarette, the incessant fidgeting and theatrical gestures, the reference to everyone as “darling," the slouching posture onstage – it all seems so natural, so far removed from mimicry. That Zellweger had the audacity to decide to actually sing the standards in Garland’s act, rather than lip-synch them, and then perform them with such bravado in a voice eerily channeling Garland is the real icing on the cake here. In Judy, a star is reborn.

Showtimes

Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills

9828 Great Hills Trail, 512/231-9742

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Thu., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, 9:15

Fri., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, 9:15

Sat., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, 9:15

Sun., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, 9:15

Mon., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, 9:15

Tue., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, 9:15

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Fri., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:40, 6:40

Tue., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:40, 6:40

Wed., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:40, 6:40

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

digital 1:35, 4:30, 7:25, 10:20

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

digital 12:40, 3:40

Fri., Oct. 18

digital 9:40am

Sat., Oct. 19

digital 9:40am

Sun., Oct. 20

digital 9:40am

Mon., Oct. 21

digital 12:40

Tue., Oct. 22

digital 12:40

Wed., Oct. 23

digital 12:40

Fri., Oct. 18

digital 10:25am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Sat., Oct. 19

digital 10:25am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Sun., Oct. 20

digital 10:25am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Mon., Oct. 21

digital 10:25am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Tue., Oct. 22

digital 10:25am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Wed., Oct. 23

digital 10:25am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

digital 1:45

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Thu., Oct. 17

10:35am, 2:00, 6:30, 9:55

Fri., Oct. 18

10:35am, 2:00, 6:35, 9:55

Sat., Oct. 19

10:35am, 2:00, 6:35, 9:55

Sun., Oct. 20

10:35am, 2:00, 6:35, 9:55

Mon., Oct. 21

2:00, 6:35, 9:55

Tue., Oct. 22

2:00, 6:35, 9:55

Wed., Oct. 23

2:00, 6:35, 9:55

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Thu., Oct. 17

10:45am, 2:00, 5:15, 8:30

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Thu., Oct. 17

11:00am, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

1:10, 3:50

Fri., Oct. 18

10:50am, 1:00, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

Sat., Oct. 19

10:50am, 1:00, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

Sun., Oct. 20

10:50am, 4:15

Mon., Oct. 21

1:20, 4:00, 6:40

Tue., Oct. 22

1:10, 3:50, 6:30

Wed., Oct. 23

4:15

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Thu., Oct. 17

11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 6:00, 9:15

Fri., Oct. 18

10:50am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 19

10:50am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 20

10:50am, 1:30, 4:10, 6:50, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 21

10:40am, 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

Tue., Oct. 22

10:40am, 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Thu., Oct. 17

12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Fri., Oct. 18

11:00am, 1:45, 4:30

Sat., Oct. 19

11:00am, 1:45, 4:30

Sun., Oct. 20

11:00am, 1:45, 4:30

Mon., Oct. 21

12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 22

12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 23

12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Violet Crown Cinema

434 W. Second, 512/495-9600, www.violetcrowncinema.com

Four-hour parking validation in attached garage with ticket purchase. Reserved seating; bar and cafe on-site.

Thu., Oct. 17

1:40, 4:10, 9:30

Fri., Oct. 18

10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 7:00, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 19

10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 7:00, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 20

10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 7:00, 9:30

Mon., Oct. 21

1:40, 4:10, 7:20, 9:50

Tue., Oct. 22

4:10, 7:20, 9:50
CC 2:00

Wed., Oct. 23

1:40, 4:10, 7:20, 9:50

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:40, 5:00, 6:30

Fri., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 11:55am, 2:35, 5:15

Sat., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 11:55am, 2:35, 5:15

Sun., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 11:55am, 2:35, 5:15

Mon., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:55, 4:35, 7:15, 9:55

Tue., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:55, 4:35, 7:15, 9:55

Wed., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:55, 4:35, 7:15, 9:55

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Judy, Rupert Goold, Renée Zellweger, Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Andy Nyman, David Rubin, Darci Shaw, Royce Pierreson, Bella Ramsey

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