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It’s hard to consider the history of music in cinema without mentioning the star power and gravitas of Miss Judy Garland. Her films with Vincente Minelli and her timeless roles in “A Star Is Born” and “The Wizard of Oz” still sparkle today due to her immense screen presence: a combination of innocence and glowing confidence. And like many emotionally captivating performers, she suffered off-screen in a life equally worthy of cinematic treatment. She stands as a real-life symbol of the worst that fame can do. The career of Renée Zellweger was affected in a similar but less dramatic way. It seems her skyrocket to prominence in the early 2000s resulted in the career hiatus of the 2010s. Where Garland experienced tragedy, Zellwegger has seen a modest revival in reprising her magnetic role as Bridget Jones in the series’ third installment and starring in various dramas such as “The Whole Truth” and “Same Kind of Different As Me.”Her next role as Judy Garland in the eponymous film, “Judy,” looks to remind us of why we were drawn to Zellweger’s performances in the first place.
The story is an adaptation of the stage play, “End of the Rainbow,” by Peter Quilter, in which Garland’s last days are portrayed and explored. Director Rupert Goold is a masterful director of theatre, having only made a mark on cinema with the 2015 thriller, “True Story.” For a sophomore feature, “Judy” is an expansive effort that appears to have an aesthetic emulating the vibrant hues of a Minelli picture. In his approach to...
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