Movie Review: “Judy”

“Judy” a Judy Garland movie biography adaptation.


As a young boy, I was not always understood. I was judged and gawked at from day one. Children looked at me not as if I was another child or peer, but as if I was a broken toy or a puzzle piece in the wrong box. I was louder, more creative, and more outgoing compared to the others. I enjoyed color and texture. Dresses, heels, and my mother’s fur coats were my go-to play outfits. I was different. I went to a Catholic school, where I did not exactly fit in. The children that surrounded me were small and normal. I was a chubby little boy with a passion for singing to anyone that would listen, which at my school wasn’t often. I felt different. I felt wrong for being myself. I thought I was being too much of a “sissy” or a “pansy” which drove me absolutely bonkers. I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. The only time that I felt right was with my sisters. 


The best feeling in the world I had as a child was sitting with my sisters and watching them pamper themselves for a date or for school, but it turns out that I loved something more. I remember my oldest sister singing me a song by Judy Garland. “Dear Mr. Gable” still hums through my head every time I feel in love or need a little pick me up. Judy changed my life, and I am eternally grateful for her. 


Obviously, I am a huge Judy Garland fan. When I heard about the 2019 film “Judy,” I was ecstatic. I know all her songs, and I was anxious to see her ending played out on screen. Renée Zellweger, notable for her role in the hit musical film “Chicago” as Roxy Heart, portrayed Garland in the film. The movie is based within the last year of her life, showing her struggles with alcoholism and drug abuse. Zellweger looks almost identical to the real Judy from that time period.


The movie starts out showing Judy’s struggles in finding balance between being a mother and handling show business. She performs in small clubs around L.A. scrounging for a nickel or two. Her kids, Lorna and Joe, lack of a proper education. Their father is eventually sick of Judy not being more of a mother, and gets custody of the children. Judy is distraught and feels as if her world is ending. She is told that moving to England would help re-boost her career, because she is still a big star there. Garland moves to London and books a cabaret show there, where she performs her best hits and puts on little numbers for the audience. This would lead to her meeting her fourth husband. 


Judy does show after show, every night with the only thing keeping her going being her upper and downer pills and a side of alcohol. She would go on stage and make an absolute fool of herself, cursing out audience members. People threw food at her to get her off stage. She was kicked out of the theater and told to never come back. She pulled her act together in the end and performed one final mind-changer that brought invites back to her door. Six months after that, Judy died of an overdose in her London flat. 


I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the cinema while watching this picture. The story was touching and made me even cry a tiny bit. This movie will truly help Judy Garland’s legacy carry on for years to come.

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