Starring: Renée Zellweger, Rufus Sewell, Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley, Michael Gambon, Bella Ramsey, Royce Pierreson, Arthur McBain, John Dagleish, Gemma-Leah Devereux, David Rubin
OUR RATING: ★★½
Bio-musical drama directed by Rupert Goold based on the life of American singer and actress Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger). The story focuses on the late 1960s as Judy Garland arrives in London to perform. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of romance seem undimmed as she embarks on a courtship with Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock), her soon-to-be fifth husband. After working for most of her life, she is exhausted, haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood, and gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'They hound people in this world. Anybody who's different. They can't stand it.' - Judy Garland (Judy) Click To Tweet 'A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.' - The Wizars of Oz (Judy) Click To Tweet
[referring to movie audiences]
Louis B. Mayer: These are the people who send us our profits, who send us your wages. I make movies, Judy, but it’s your job to give those people dreams. The economy’s in the gutter, and they pay for you. And I’ll tell you something else. In every one of those towns, believe me, there’s a girl who’s prettier than you. Maybe their nose is a little thinner at the bridge. They have better teeth than you. Or they’re taller, or they’re slimmer. Only, you have something none of those pretty girls can ever have. You know what that is?
Young Judy: No, sir.
Louis B. Mayer: You have that voice. It’ll maybe take you to Oz, someplace none of those pretty girls can ever go.
Louis B. Mayer: Still, I’m told you’re unhappy.
Young Judy: Well, no, sir, not unhappy. I’d just maybe like a little more time.
Louis B. Mayer: Time? For what?
Young Judy: I don’t know. Maybe to go to the pictures like those other girls do.
Louis B. Mayer: The thing is, those other girls will grow up to be cashiers, and farmers wives, and elementary school teachers. And they’ll see their skins roughed up through housework. Is that what you want, Judy? To be just a housewife? To be just a mother? Out there, you’d have to put away that voice of yours. Forget it exists. But here, with us, with your family, that voice will make you a million dollars before you’re twenty.
Louis B. Mayer: Those average kids, they’re all loved, in their way. I can see how you may be drawn to it, from time to time. Their small lives. Not too dangerous. Not too exciting. They’re where they belong. And maybe you feel like you’re like them. But really, you’re not. You live in another world entirely. They just look like you. But if you truly want to go join them, it’s your decision. We’ll shake hands, and you can walk through our gates. I guarantee it’s all there, the rest of America, just waiting to swallow you up and forget all about you. Like a raindrop falling into the Pacific. Who cares? Who even notices?
Young Judy: Of course I want to stay with the studio, LB. Any girl would kill to be Dorothy. I’m just terribly sorry if… I didn’t even say anything to anyone.
Louis B. Mayer: You’re my favorite, Judy.
[as Judy is trying to check herself and her children into their hotel]
Mr. Horowitz: I’m very sorry, but your suite has been released.
Judy Garland: What do you mean, released? It’s not still attached to the building? Where exactly has it gone?
Mr. Horowitz: I believe your account was in arrears.
Judy Garland: Oh. No. No, I don’t think that’s the case.
Mr. Horowitz: The room got released.
Judy Garland: So un-release it. Hand it back. We need to sleep in it!
[after they’ve been turned away from their hotel, Judy takes out her pills]
Lorna Luft: Please don’t go to sleep now.
Judy Garland: No, no, no. These are the other ones.
[after Judy is forced to take her kids to her ex-husband’s home so they can sleep]
Sid Luft: You can’t turn up here at one o’clock in the morning and expect…
Judy Garland: I know they should be in bed, okay?! It just doesn’t always work that way. And it gets late because nobody wants to pay to see me at two in the afternoon. And I have to work, because they need things.
Sid Luft: They need an education, Judy. They need ten hours of sleep.
Judy Garland: Oh, just to hell with this. Just call me a cab.
Sid Luft: I want custody during the school year.
Judy Garland: Over my dead body.
Sid Luft: Well, no one would be surprised, believe me.
[at a party Judy meets nightclub owner Mickey; he holds out a drink for her]
Mickey Deans: Excuse me. This is for you. We can’t have the world’s greatest entertainer out here without a drink.
Judy Garland: Frank Sinatra’s here?
Mickey Deans: [laughs] Frank is great, but he is no Judy Garland. I bet it kills him.
Mickey Deans: You have to have ambitions, right?
Judy Garland: Well, I used to have them. I found they gave me the most terrible headache.
Judy Garland: You have kids, Mickey?
Mickey Deans: Uh, no. No, I don’t.
Judy Garland: Well, you shouldn’t. It’s like living with your heart on the outside of your body. Find a hobby or something, like canasta or birdwatching.
Mickey Deans: You play anything, or you just sing?
Judy Garland: [offended] Just sing?
Mickey Deans: Sorry. That’s not what I… Did that come out wrong?
Judy Garland: My entire childhood I must’ve slept five hours total. It’s a wonder I learned to use cutlery, let alone play the violin.
Judy Garland: I don’t have a home. I can’t even get a manager. “Step right up and take ten percent of my debts.”
Ken Frisch: You know what I’m going to say. London would offer you a lot of money
Judy Garland: No.
Ken Frisch: See, they’re crazy for you.
Judy Garland: Because the English are insane.
Ken Frisch: Start earning again. Then Sid’s people will have nothing on you.
Judy Garland: Lorna does adore London.
Ken Frisch: Honey, the courts won’t let you take them out of the country.
Judy Garland: So, you’re saying, I have to leave my children if I want to make enough money to be with my children?
Ken Frisch: I know it’s hard. But I think you have to take this seriously.
Judy Garland: I can’t.
[as she’s cuddling her children before she leaves for London]
Judy Garland: I do like it here. I would very much like to stay.
[in London, as Judy is about to step out onto the stage]
Rosalyn Wilder: What do you mean, you can’t? There’s an audience out there waiting to hear you sing.
Judy Garland: My mouth’s dry, and it could fall apart.
Rosalyn Wilder: No. Listen to me.
Judy Garland: I can’t.
Rosalyn Wilder: You’ll be fine. Now, on you go.
[she pushes Judy onto the stage]
[referring to Judy’s performance]
Rosalyn Wilder: I thought you were very good.
Judy Garland: What if I can’t do it again?
[Judy meets two gay fans at the stage door]
Judy Garland: Do you want to get some dinner? I mean, if you’re not doing anything.
Stan: You mean with us?
Judy Garland: Oh, I don’t want to impose.
Stan: No. Yes. I mean…
Dan: I mean, that would be beyond… Where’s going to be open?
Stan: Oh, on a Tuesday after midnight.
Judy Garland: If it’s trouble, I don’t…
Dan: No, no, no. No! We’ll find somewhere, won’t we?
Stan: Of course.
Judy Garland: Great, okay. Well, lead on, my good gentlemen.
Judy Garland: [to Dan] They hound people in this world. Anybody who’s different. They can’t stand it. Well, to hell with them.
[answering the knock on her door]
Judy Garland: What?
Room Service Waiter: Room service.
Judy Garland: I didn’t order anything. It’s the first sleep I’ve gotten in weeks, and you woke me up.
Room Service Waiter: There’s a man under the trolley.
Judy Garland: What?
[Mickey pops his head from under the trolley]
Mickey Deans: Hey, baby. Surprise!
Judy Garland: Mickey!
[he hugs her]
Judy Garland: What are you doing here? I can’t believe it. Oh, what a wonderful surprise!
Judy Garland: Everybody has their troubles, and I’ve had mine. I’ve probably had everybody else’s too.
Interviewer: Has it affected your children, do you think?
Judy Garland: What?
Interviewer: The fights over custody. Your children living away from you.
Judy Garland: I mean, if I’m this terrible mother they like to write about, well, you tell me how I end up with such incredible kids?
Interviewer: But I wasn’t suggesting…
Judy Garland: Well, no, everybody suggests things. Like I’m not a real person, but I am, you understand? I’m only Judy Garland for an hour a night. The rest of the time, I’m part of a family. I just want what everybody wants. I seem to have a harder time getting it.
[after Judy shows up late to her performance]
Judy Garland: You’re a classy little number, aren’t you? “Just get up and sing!” You want to serve me up to them like I’m their goddamn dinner!
Rosalyn Wilder: Judy, I’m sorry, but that is not what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to help you.
Judy Garland: Don’t Judy me. You’re not my friend. You don’t care about me.
Rosalyn Wilder: Listen, it’s fine. It’s fine. We’ll just have Lonnie Donegan perform.
Judy Garland: Over my dead body!
Rosalyn Wilder: Well, if you don’t want to do it…
Judy Garland: It’s my show. It’s my name up there! No, Lonnie Donegan is a peach of a man, but he can go f**k himself if he thinks he’s having my billing.
[as Judy’s on stage looking drunk]
Audience Heckler: You’re late!
Judy Garland: So what? It’s a party. Where are you?
[looks into the audience]
Judy Garland: Oh! What, do you have to be home for your mommy to put you to bed? Be a man, have another drink. Have one on me. He’s going to have one on me.
[in flashback we see Mayer talking to young Judy]
Young Judy: I did eighteen hours yesterday. I mean, I couldn’t hardly remember my own name.
Louis B. Mayer: Your name is Frances Gumm. You’re a fat-ankled, snag-toothed rube from Grand Rapids. Your father was a f**got, and your mother only cares about what I think of you. Now, do you remember who you are, Judy?
Louis B. Mayer: You sing from the heart, Judy. You know where the heart is?
[he points to her heart]
Louis B. Mayer: It’s there. Now, I want you to look me in the eye, and tell me you remember we made a deal.
Young Judy: I know I did.
Louis B. Mayer: You made that choice. I was there. I heard you make it.
Young Judy: I’m sorry.
Louis B. Mayer: You want to go swimming, you come over to my beach house. You can swim there all night. Now, say thank you.
Young Judy: Thank you.
Louis B. Mayer: Don’t ever hold up a movie of mine.
[after her British agent suggests Judy visit a voice specialist doctor]
Dr. Hargreaves: Have there been any surgeries?
Judy Garland: Tracheotomy. Two years ago. Tried to kill myself.
Dr. Hargreaves: That won’t have helped your voice.
Dr. Hargreaves: Look, do you take anything for depression?
Judy Garland: Four husbands. It didn’t work.
Dr. Hargreaves: I’d say you’re underweight.
Judy Garland: Well, you’re flirting with me now.
Dr. Hargreaves: Mr. Delfont asked me to give you something, so I’m going to give you a vitamin injection, and some anti-inflammatories for your vocal cords. What you really need is rest.
Judy Garland: Mm. At home, with my children.
Dr. Hargreaves: Precisely. With your feet up.
Dr. Hargreaves: Judy, you need to take better care of yourself. You understand? Do you understand?
Mickey Deans: Sweetheart, I already said I love you nine times today.
Judy Garland: Well, maybe I need ten, or twelve, once an hour, like a cuckoo clock. “Cuckoo! I love you!”
Sid Luft: How have the shows been?
Judy Garland: They’ve been wonderful. I’m a hit.
Sid Luft: Well, maybe you’ll make it as a singer after all.
Judy Garland: I think I at least have a shot.
Sid Luft: The kids need a home. I can give them that.
Judy Garland: I know what kids need. They need their mother.
Sid Luft: They also need school, and friends they can rely on seeing.
Judy Garland: No.
Judy Garland: I’m working harder than you would ever believe.
Sid Luft: Are you?
Judy Garland: And right now, my husband is making a deal for me, that means I can start over.
Sid Luft: You’re not listening.
Judy Garland: I have someone I can rely on now. Someone who’s helping me make money, instead of losing it at the track.
Sid Luft: Can we not…
Judy Garland: I’m going to get a place. And they’re going to live with me.
[referring to her children]
Judy Garland: I don’t want them on stage with me. I don’t want them in this phony business, and I don’t want them anywhere near the bastards who run it. But you have to let me be with them, Sid. I’m a good mother.
Sid Luft: I know you try.
Judy Garland: That’s a sneaky little jab in the guts! I know what a bad mother is. I lived with one.
Sid Luft: They love you. They do. They miss you, and they want to see you. And they also want to stay put. That’s what they want. That’s the truth.
Mickey Deans: The deal. It didn’t work out.
Judy Garland: I don’t understand.
Mickey Deans: Yeah. You have to keep singing for a while, I think. You have more dates at Talk of The Town.
Judy Garland: No, I can’t keep touring. I have to go home to my kids! I have to go home! You promised!
Mickey Deans: I tried my best, Judy, okay?
Judy Garland: No, you promised!
[referring to Mickey’s deal failing]
Judy Garland: Why, Mickey?
Mickey Deans: Showing up late, cursing at the audience. I mean, their wives read about that in the papers. They got cold feet.
Judy Garland: So I messed it up?
Mickey Deans: Well, that’s their opinion about it, if you want to know, yeah.
[referring to the failed deal]
Mickey Deans: I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. I think maybe I could’ve asked more questions upfront.
Judy Garland: Oh, my God.
Mickey Deans: Maybe you could have laid off the stuff a little bit.
Judy Garland: Oh, so you do think it’s my fault?
Mickey Deans: I didn’t say that.
Judy Garland: You do. You think it’s my fault.
Mickey Deans: Of course it’s your fault!
Judy Garland: So, uh, what is it that you do, anyway, Mickey?
Mickey Deans: What does that mean?
Judy Garland: You’re just like all the other ones. You sit on the sidelines, and you watch the show, and you think that’s making things happen. You think that’s working. What have you ever done that would make anybody want to listen to you?
[Mickey throws his drink across the room in anger]
Mickey Deans: I shouldn’t have come back here.
Judy Garland: You shouldn’t have come in the first place!
[Judy takes her coat and walks out of their hotel room]
Mickey Deans: I’m not going to be here when you get back.
Judy Garland: I don’t care!
[Judy walks off]
Mickey Deans: Judy!
Rosalyn Wilder: Are you going to be alright?
Judy Garland: Sure. It’s snowing outside, which I like. I have three beautiful children. I have a lot to be grateful for.
[last lines; to the audience]
Judy Garland: Oh! I love you all. You won’t forget me, will you? Promise you won’t.
[the audience cheers for her]
“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” – The Wizars of Oz
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