MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Rupert Goold
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock
Runtime: 1 hr 58 mins
What It Is: A look at Judy Garland’s (Zellweger) life in the late 1960s. Beyond the glitz and the glamour of her early Hollywood days. Now she lives with the effects of a childhood stolen. Restless nights, barbituates aplenty and a life lived for other people’s entertainment. Now in her late 40’s seeking some sort of income to help get her kids a place to live so that she can live with them. She takes a gig in London. One that may be the very tipping point of Garland’s career.
What We Think: Let’s get straight to it. This is more of a performance than a film. Renee Zellwegger is out here showing why she has several nominations and a statue from the Academy of Motion Pictures. She is certainly in line for another one with this. I don’t think the film around her is all that great. The narrative feels…I don’t know, broken? Goold seems to not quite get what direction to pull this in. This seems symptomatic of Goold. Look no further than my issues with his other film True Story.
Our Grade: C, Zellwegger is so much better than the material here. She’s elevating it beyond a total by the number biopic, which…it kinda is. No, I don’t really recommend it. Just buy the hype about her performance, it’s warranted. I think that Rupert Goold’s next film will be a skip for me. I do recommend you YouTube the “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” scene from this. That, that is the good stuff. Basically what I’m saying here is Rupert Goold should move to shoot music videos. I think there’s a niche there he could really nail down. Given his issues with telling complete stories in a longer form.