Fri 7th February: Films at Pelham Hall - Judy


(2019) 118 mins

Director: Rupert Goold
Writers: Tom Edge, Peter Quilter


Thirty years after starring in The Wizard of Oz, beloved actress and singer Judy Garland arrives in London to perform sold-out shows at the Talk of the Town nightclub. While there, she reminisces with friends and fans and begins a whirlwind romance with musician Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.

This is Renée Zellweger’s Judy. It doesn’t belong to Rupert Goold, its director. Nor does it belong to Tom Edge, its screenwriter. It’s a performance of such overwhelming force that it wrests authorship from every other hand that guided the film’s creation.

Zellweger is magnetic as Judy Garland, depicted in the final years of her life.

Set in 1969, the film sees Garland forced into a painful decision. She must leave behind her son and daughter (Lewin Lloyd and Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey) and travel to London for a five-week run of concerts.

Only then can she earn enough money to buy a house and ensure she won’t lose custody of her kids. This is Garland depicted as Hollywood’s great cautionary tale.

The Times: "Zellweger is a revelation. She does not just, as the cliché goes, “disappear” into the role. Instead, she devours it, delivering the most fiercely committed performance of her career, making this one of the great film-star biopics." (4 stars)

The Independent: "Judy, in turn, is happy to let Zellweger take centre stage. Thank god, because it’s the performance of a lifetime." (4 stars)

The Guardian: "Zellweger is phenomenally good. And the humour: Garland’s wisecracks are delivered with a trouper’s comic timing." (4 stars)