When it comes to Judy Garland, gestures and mannerisms count. A lot. We’d already seen a first-look photo of Renée Zellweger in the title role of the upcoming biopic Judy, but with this new teaser trailer Garland aficionados can start sizing up in earnest about how convincing the Bridget Jones actress is as the great Garland.
On first view, pretty convincing, particularly in the stage gestures. Zellweger isn’t going for a full-on vocal impersonation in this take on Garland’s signature song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”
“I made it clear to Renee that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice,” director Rupert Goold said in a statement released with the teaser, “but what I wanted was for Renee to make the songs her own and this she did to thrilling effect.”
Goold, the Tony-nominated director of Broadway’s Ink, directs Judy from a screenplay by Tom Edge (The Crown) and co-stars Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, and Michael Gambon. Judy is produced by David Livingstone, exec produced by Cameron McCracken, Rose Garnett, and Andrea Scarso.
Wittrock, perhaps best known as one of Ryan Murphy’s go-to ensemble of actors (American Horror Story, American Crime Story) plays Mickey Deans, Garland’s late-in-life fifth husband who was with the former MGM star when she died in London in 1969.
The new teaser includes a montage of Garland moments, on-stage and off, from throughout her life. We see a bit of Yellow Brick Road, some dressing room blues, a wedding, an empty pill bottle, a sweet moment or two with kids Joey and Lorna.
The logline: “Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, 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 love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of ‘the world’s greatest entertainer.'”
Said Goold in a statement, “I had always wanted to make a film that explores great performance and its cost. The most fertile ground for such exploration seemed to be at the end of a lifetime of performance. For over 40 years Judy Garland had laughed and loved and entertained no matter what life threw at her, and her public adored her for it. But she paid a price in a childhood lost to Hollywood, an emotional exhaustion and a yearning for a ‘normal’ life beyond the rainbow. It is a powerful and moving story that I hope will inspire new audiences to discover Judy Garland’s joyous legacy.”
Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment will release Judy in theaters September 27. Check out the trailer above, let us know what you think in the comments below, and take a look at these new photos from the film.
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