Director: Rupert Goold
Year Released: 2019
Having been financially irresponsible and facing difficulties supporting the two young children she had with ex-husband #3 (Rufus Sewell), iconic singer-actress Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) accepts a long-term residency in London, playing to sold-out shows ... but her dependency on alcohol and prescription pills - not to mention her mental illness - weighs her down. This follows the unfortunate trend of biopics to show "the depressing years" of notable artists' lives - also see (or don't): Stan & Ollie - as Garland chugs down booze and uppers (or downers) and is perpetually late for her shows - personal handler Rosalyn (Jessie Buckley) has to keep coaxing her to get on stage - but it does call out Old Hollywood, embodied by the hulking Louis B. Mayer (Richard Cordery), for its abuse of its young employees and getting Judy hooked on medication to function (and pushing her to work for excessively long periods of time): it's #MeToo for a bygone era. The weaknesses of the script - and the pandering (Judy shares a botched omelette with two gay admirers) - don't detract from Zellweger's spot-on performance, which rightfully earned her a second Oscar. That's what these movies are solely designed to do, aren't they?