I have been asked a lot about the new Judy film showing at the Cinemas at the moment, which I went to see yesterday. This is a difficult one for me as, a lot of you know, Judy Garland is my idol and has been for a very long time. When I was about ten I was travelling home, with my parents from a holiday at the caravan. There was a large bin in one of the services stations and it was buy one cassette tape and get one free. I purchased a ‘Doris Day’ tape as I loved her musicals and voice and I continued to sort through the others. I held one up that caught my eye, it was Judy Garland. It was not a very flattering photograph and I was not sure if I would like it. I remember my Dad saying, ‘She does musicals, I think you will like it. It’s free so you haven’t lost anything!’. I bought the two and headed home, putting the tapes on in the car, listening first to Doris Day. Almost home, Doris Day finished and so I put the other tape in and it was like a bolt of lightning! ‘Wow!, Where has this voice come from?’. I was disappointed when we reached home but took the tape in and played it over and over again and that was the start of my love, and some would say obsession with ‘Judy Garland’. Judy Garland’s music helped me so much growing up. I truly believed that she loved the misfits and the people that did not fit into societies ideals.
I am in quite a few Judy garland fan clubs and discussion pages and so was very unsure about the new film, released on October 2nd 2019 starring Renee Zellweger.
The film tells the story of the book of ‘The end of the Rainbow’ by Peter Quilter and produced by Cameron McCraken, Andrea Scarso, Jim Spencer, Lee Dean and David Livingstone.
It portrays the story of Judy’s concert shows at ‘The Talk Of The Town’ in London just before her death in 1969.
Renee Zellweger,as Judy, does play a fabulous part. There are one or two little idiosyncrasies that are missed but she has obviously studied Judy of the time this film is portrayed.
The costumes are good but I do not know why they did not replicate the iconic dresses, such as the poppy dress, exactly as it was.
I feel they glossed over the friendship that Judy and Mickey Rooney had and hoped they would had included the angle that he did not want to date her because he loved her as a sister. I felt they had a deeper lifelong bond.
Judy’s children Lorna and Joey Luft were too young for the end of the film. Lorna was seventeen at her mother’s funeral, not seven! The biggest disappointment was the portrayal of Liza Minnelli. I felt like they thought ‘Oh, she only has a couple of lines so who do we have? Oh you will do!’. Nothing like her, Nothing!! Liza is vivacious and has a unique look, even at a young age and calling Judy ‘Mom’ !!! Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Always ‘Mama’, always!!
Judy’s fifth and last husband ‘Mickey Deans’ is portrayed in the film. Mickey has always been a bit of a villain to me as it was in his care that Judy Garland passed away in 1969. There are rumours that he allegedly may have played a part in her death and that he stopped on the way back from her funeral to organise a book deal ‘Weep No More My Lady’ based on Judy Garland. Are these true? I do not know.
In the film it shows Judy meets Mickey at a party but she actually met him when he delivered drugs to her in 1966.
Reading this back I realise that it looks like I did not enjoy the film and that is not true I did. I absolutely sobbed at the end so you can not say it is not a good film. I guess it left me stunned. I was pleased Judy’s humour came across as she was a very funny lady. I wished they had used her voice and so wanted footage at the end. I think and hope it shows that she just wore out. People abused her and her talent and they exploited her. Some for their own gains, some because they thought it was for the best and some because they loved her. If you had met her how could you not get her to sing to you again and again?
Go and see it and make up your own mind. Please do not think she was selfish and if you do not know her back story then please read about her and look her up on the internet. Listen to her songs and watch her movies. Fall in love with the wonder that is ‘Miss Judy Garland’ and forever keep her memory alive.
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza