The biopic Judy is less about Judy Garland than it is about the lead actress Renée Zellweger who is angling for an Oscar without doing so all too conspicuously.
Are you the kind of person who only needs to hear “Judy” to know that it's about Judy Garland? She became world-famous with her performance as Dorothy Parker in The Wizard of Oz and her version of the evergreen “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. She also starred in classics like A Star is Born, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Easter Parade, but died at only 47 years old due to her long-term addiction to pills and alcohol. Repudiated by Hollywood, booed by the public, finished.
This average biopic seeks to sketch her portrait by focusing on her final chapter in London. That choice yielded good results last year in Stan & Ollie, the portrait of Laurel & Hardy. It doesn't work here. That's probably because the great tragedy was not an abrupt end point but a constant in her life from an early age. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a film star with an unhappier life. There is more than enough drama and complexity for a TV series of two or even three seasons. You can't cover it all in a few flashbacks. Judy is less about Judy Garland than it is about the lead actress Renée Zellweger who is angling for an Oscar without doing so all too conspicuously.