JUDY GARLAND: THE LEGEND BEHIND THE RAINBOW.
In 1969, six months before her death, Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) goes to London for a series of concerts in order to make enough money to be reunited with her children. Zellweger does her best work in years, brilliantly capturing the star at her most vulnerable, alone without her children, struggling with ill health and a desperate lack of confidence. As we follow Garland’s tumultuous stay in London, which also involves her last romance, flashbacks to her early years in Hollywood show how a path to destruction was begun. A tragic but compelling story that’s true to its era; vibrantly staged, with terrific musical performances.
2019-Britain-U.S. 118 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by David Livingstone. Directed by Rupert Goold. Screenplay: Tom Edge. Play: Peter Quilter (”End of the Rainbow”). Cast: Renée Zellweger (Judy Garland), Jessie Buckley (Rosalyn Wilder), Finn Wittrock (Mickey Deans), Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Darci Shaw.
Trivia: The story was also more or less told in the miniseries Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001).
Golden Globe: Best Actress (Zellweger). BAFTA: Best Actress (Zellweger).
Last word: “When we first shot it of course, you’re worried about it being sentimental or sort of not plausible in some way. And we did our first shot at it. It was a quite a wide shot. And the guys joined in and then everybody joined in and I felt incredibly embarrassed. I turned to the writer and said ‘I don’t think this works.’ And I’d be back at the monitor and I kind of walked down the steps to Renée, who was sitting on the stage. And as I walked through the extras, I could see they were all in tears and I thought, I said interesting. And of course they’d been really close to her and acing it. And then I went back and looked on the tighter camera and said, ‘Oh yeah, this is, there’s something really happening here. We just need to get right in with her and really connect.'” (Goold on shooting the “Over the Rainbow” scene, LRM)