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.”
Director Rupert Goold, a 2019 Tony Award nominee, commented: “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.
“I felt Renee was uniquely qualified to play Judy. First, because she is a great, Oscar-winning dramatic actress. Second, she is a wonderful comedienne. And third, I knew from Chicago that she could sing. I made it clear to Renee that I wasn’t looking for an impersonation of Judy Garland’s inimitable voice, but what I wanted was for Renee to make the songs her own and this she did to thrilling effect.”
Written by Tom Edge, the film also stars Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, and Michael Gambon.
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