I know it’s early, but Rene Zellweger has my vote for the Best Actress Oscar after watching her astonishing performance as Judy Garland. Based on Peter Quilter’s play, The End of the Rainbow, and adapted for the screen by Tom Edge, Judy is mostly set in 1969 in London, England. Judy Garland, living on a toxic diet of uppers, downers, booze, and nicotine finds herself homeless and broke. She’s burned her bridges in America because of her erratic behavior and unstable life-style. No one will hire her.

In a desperate attempt to pay off her debts and provide a home for her children, Lorna and Joey, Garland agrees to travel to London to perform nightly at the Talk of the Town nightclub. Director Rupert Goold weaves in flashbacks to Judy’s early days at MGM. We see her manipulated by Louis B. Mayer, fed diet pills, and forced to work 18-hour days. It becomes apparent why this 47-year-old Judy Garland is so brittle, bitchy, and desperate.

As Judy’s life spirals out of control, Rene Zellweger’s performance–nuanced, credible, and deeply emotional–takes us down into the darkest levels of psychology and despair. We see one of the great Hollywood stars turn into a black hole before our eyes. Do you have a favorite Judy Garland song or movie? GRADE:A

1 That’s Entertainment!
2 More (Live)
3 Come Rain Or Come Shine
4 It’s Yourself
5 Lucky Day
6 I Could Go On Singing (Till The Cows Come Home)
7 Day In – Day Out
8 A Foggy Day (Live At Carnegie Hall/1961)
9 Medley: Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love (Live At Carnegie Hall/1961)
10 Fly Me To The Moon (Live)
11 Battle Hymn Of The Republic (Live)
12 Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart
13 You’ll Never Walk Alone
14 Old Devil Moon
15 Maggie, Maggie May
16 You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song (Medley)
17 The Man That Got Away
18 Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody
19 As Long As He Needs Me (Live)
20 Over The Rainbow

20 thoughts on “JUDY and THE BEST OF JUDY GARLAND

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Saw this yesterday. Other than Renee’s performance I didn’t think this was a very good movie. I would give it a C+. I’m not much of a fan. I guess Over the Rainbow would be my favorite. I also thought that at times she looked more like Judy Davis playing Garland than Garland herself.

  2. Deb

    Not a huge fan—I think because of how tragic her life was, I have a hard time relating to her zippy, upbeat stuff (like “The Trolley Song”) and the more melancholy stuff just makes me sad—and not in a good way. I don’t think I’m very interested in the movie either.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, Judy Garland lived a tragic life. JUDY gives some insights into how Garland’s later unmooring resulted from the pills she was fed in her youth. A cautionary tale…

  3. Patti Abbott

    SONG: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Although not sure that is the title)
    Was not a huge Garland fan and am not a huge Zellwegger fan but I will see the movie on Saturday anyway.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    I agree with Patti. We enjoy MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and watch it fairly regularly. I liked movies where Judy got to show that she was funny.

    Yes, she sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (which she introduced in the film) to cheer up little sister Tootie (Margaret O’Brien).

    No interest in running out to see this – will watch it when it gets to television – though at least superficially (last days of a tragic star) it reminds me of Annette Bening playing Gloria Grahame (who I liked way more than Judy) in FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I have a copy of FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL but haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. Maybe this weekend…

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    Jackie wants to put in a vote for A STAR IS BORN, or MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. She likes “The Trolley Song” better than the Christmas song.

  6. Michael Padgett

    I’d second Jeff’s recommendation of “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”, and can only hope “Judy” is as good. I’ll see it more for Zellweger’s performance than because of any great interest in Garland, who I never quite “got”. By the time I really became aware of her in the sixties, her fame as a train wreck had overtaken her fame as an entertainer. The only two of the movies I’m certain I’ve seen are “Wizard” and “A Star is Born”.

  7. Rick Robinson

    From your summary, the theme seems to be It’s Not Her Fault. Yet she’s the one who did the self-destructive stuff and took the drugs and drank the booze. I’m not buying it. Toobad the actress doesn’t look a bit like Garland. I’d probably pick Little Women too. No song, though.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, JUDY shows how many of Judy’s faults were exacerbated by the movie studio staff who “handled” her. Sure, Judy has to own her five failed marriages (she had terrible taste in men). But adults put Judy on the dangerous path she traveled to her death.

  8. Janet M Amaral

    Ms Wilder was never Judy’s PA-she was an employee of Talk Of The Town. Judy’s PA at this time was Lorna Smith, the founder of The International Judy Garland Fan Club. Anyone who knows Judy’s career knows this, and there is photographic proof; I challenge Ms Wilder to produce photos of herself and Judy together during this run–I expect there are none, since she hijacked Ms Smith’s story to promote herself. Read Ms Smith’s book, ‘To Judy, With Love’–maybe you will learn something. Disgusting behavior by Ms Wilder to continue to exploit Judy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *