January 24, 2020 10:18:30 pm
Judy, a biopic of late Hollywood actor, singer and dancer Judy Garland, has received mostly positive reviews. Renée Zellweger plays the titular role in the Rupert Goold directorial.
Judy holds a rating of 82 per cent at Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus reads, “Led by a deeply committed performance from Renée Zellweger, Judy captures the waning days of a beloved performer with clear-eyed compassion.”
The Guardian’s Wendy Ide wrote, “Adapted by Tom Edge from the stage play End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter, and ably directed by Rupert Goold, this is a thorough workout for Zellweger’s talents. It’s not the kind of transformation in which the actor disappears into the character, like Marion Cotillard’s Edith Piaf. Zellweger and Garland coexist symbiotically on the screen, in a kind of magic-eye illusion of a performance that flips back and forwards between the two. Zellweger is phenomenally good nonetheless. She captures the frayed edges of a voice that has taken a lifetime of punishment; the girlish ragdoll fling of arms and legs of a woman whose public never quite forgave her for growing up. And the humour: Garland’s wisecracks are delivered with a trouper’s comic timing.”
The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday noted in her review, “Judy is just such a sturdy, dependable vehicle which, in this case, carries the precious cargo of Renée Zellweger in a dazzling portrayal of Judy Garland at the end of her life. Tough, vulnerable, resilient and wrecked, Zellweger’s Garland both leans into the myth — she even wears her “What Becomes a Legend Most?” mink in some sequences — and slyly subverts it, with moments of self-aware humor. Zellweger doesn’t deliver an impersonation of Judy Garland as much as an interpretation, adjusting her own vocal register but never to the point of erasure or mimicry. The result is a relatively straightforward slice-of-life biopic, bogged down with flashbacks and backstage histrionics, that nonetheless offers an utterly transfixing glimpse at the art of screen performance writ gloriously, glamorously large.”
TIME magazine’s Stephanie Zacharek was of the opinion that, “In Judy, directed by theater veteran Rupert Goold, Renée Zellweger is the piece of glass that allows you to gaze at her directly, to see her in new ways but also to fine-tune your understanding of all the things you already know. Zellweger as Judy cuts deep but also allows us to creep closer—to see a woman who had terrible luck and even worse taste in men, but who also knew, in her stronger moments, how to have a good laugh about it all. Zellweger paints shadows of nuance into her portrayal of a performer who invites easy caricature. And she sings, too. It’s a wonderful performance, as rich and alluring as a length of golden brocade, but one with appropriately ragged edges.”
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