I love The Wizard of Oz, its actually one of my very favorite films of all time. It also happened to be a breakout role for star, Judy Garland. Its kind off a shame, how little I actually knew about her life. I knew she was troubled in her life but not to the extent I read about after watching this film. I felt that while the film was not perfect and does not always hit the mark, the performance by Renee Zellweger is sensational and very truly the best she has ever been in film.
The film focuses on a portion of Judy Garland, near the end of her career and life. This is where Judy was performing for a few weeks at the Talk of the Town night club in London. At this stage of her career, she is plagued with a failing love life, drug and alcohol addiction, the emotional trauma that has been with her for the duration of her career, and bankruptcy. The film is a lens into how her life was at the time as her health was deteriorating.
Zellweger was completely unrecognizable as Garland. She completely disappeared into the role and captures so much emotion, sarcastic humor, and personality of who she plays. Her performance in the film really keeps it afloat. Its not a bad film at all and was intriguing as a character study. I felt like there were parts of the film that could have been done better and parts that felt unrealized. Apart from that this will please in terms of the history of Garland and the musical numbers on display.
Its sad to think about how Garland suffered and the detriment this caused for her career. The suffering through addiction and the pressures of the industry, all led to an early death. The film could have easily been a wide scope biopic of her life but I like how it framed itself on the latter portions of her life because it does a well enough job of showing her struggle and how she tries to overcome. It kind of reminded me of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Its early but I already know Zellweger has an acting nomination in the bag.