Renée Zellweger plays Judy Garland in the trailer for the upcoming memoir, Judy. Garland, of course, is a Hollywood icon thanks to her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz and her subsequent performances in films like Meet Me in St. Louis and A Star is Born (the 1954 version). Overall, her screen and stage career spanned forty years, beginning with her days as a child actor and continuing on through to her tragic premature death. Judy, as it were, picks up towards the end of Garland's life in the winter of 1968, as she makes her way to London to perform for several weeks as part of a sold-out run at The Talk of the Town.
Written by Tom Edge (The Crown) and directed by Rupert Goold (True Story), Judy was adapted from Peter Quilter's stage play End of the Rainbow, which premiered in the 2000s and eventually found its way to Broadway in 2012. The movie's supporting cast includes Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle) as Garland's third ex-husband Sidney Luft and Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story) as Mickey Deans, the musician who would go on to become Garland's fifth and final husband. And though we're still a few months out from the film's release, the marketing campaign for Judy is getting properly underway this week.
The Judy teaser trailer has dropped online and will presumably be screening with Tolkien on the big screen, starting today. You can check it out in the space below, followed by the movie's recently-unveiled poster.
Naturally, the teaser features Zellweger performing the song most famously associated with Garland, "Over the Rainbow", in combination with a montage of clips that cover the broader strokes of the film's narrative. It's a pretty effective juxtaposition at that, as the dreamy sound of the classic Wizard of Oz tune contrasts with the grounded reality of Garland's experiences and the toll her (somewhat literal) lifetime in the spotlight took on her, both physically and psychologically. Zellweger's far from a stranger to musical performance on the big screen (following her Oscar-nominated turn in Chicago) and her somber rendition of Dorothy Gale's classic solo seems pitch-perfect here. All in all, this is a good teaser for Judy and effectively sets the stage for a poignant portrait of the icon near the end of her life.
Judy is currently scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on September 27, which only seems fitting. Biopics and memoirs typically fare better during the fall than the spring or summer, when audiences are (traditionally) more in the mood for something a little quieter and smaller scale to watch. This also positions Judy for a potential awards season run later this year, assuming critics respond well to Zellweger's performance and the movie around her. Failing that, this one should make for decent counter-programming to the other releases arriving in late September (like Rambo: Last Blood).
Source: Pathe UK