Arts & crafts

‘Judy’ (2019) – A review by The Joy Club film club

28 Apr 2022 | Written by By The Joy Club

About our Film Club: Once a month, members and someone from The Joy Club team choose a film to watch (you can find the pick of the month listed on the event booking page). During our meetings, we chat about what we liked about the film (or didn’t like!) and why. For these sessions, all you need is to have seen the film (or however much of it as you can before the call), to have an open mind and bring any thoughts you want to share. 

Our next Film Club session is tomorrow at 1pm! You’ll find all the details at the bottom of the article.

Let’s talk about ‘Judy’

In March, the film chosen for discussion was the biographical drama, ‘Judy’ (2019), directed by Rupert Goold. The film stars Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland, transporting us to thirty years after the beloved actress and singer rose to fame in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. When she arrives in London to perform sold-out shows at the Talk of the Town nightclub, we are welcomed into the lesser-known corners of Judy’s life as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with musician Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. 

Here’s a snapshot of Evleen and Igor’s discussion of the film at last month’s meeting… 


How would you describe this film in one sentence?

Evleen: “Interesting and sad insight into Judy Garland’s childhood and life struggles. Nevertheless it draws you in.”

Igor: “A unique take on the music biopic genre that was popular a few years ago, focusing on Judy’s twilight years and really diving into how her experience as a childhood star influenced her relationship with the audience and herself. While there were some clunky pacing issues, the trajectory of the film nevertheless makes you feel like you are there with Judy all the way, experiencing this unique time in her life with her.”


What star rating would you give this film and why?

Evleen: 4 out of 5 stars 

“Did not expect Rene Zellweger to perform well in this role but she carried it off well. It takes some bravery to take on a role portraying a huge iconic star.”

Igor: 4 out of 5 stars 

“Zellweger’s performance is the centerpiece of the production, and key moments on stage were carried with strong creative direction. However, some key moments for Judy’s character development that happened offstage, in particular around her relationship with Mickey Dean, were carried off less successfully and affected the pace of the film.”


Were there any moments that really stood out to you, because they were bad or good? Why?

Evleen: “The final song when the audience got up and sang to Judy just as she appeared to be giving up.”

Igor: “A particular standout moment was Judy’s first London performance – great use of visual storytelling to show how Judy perceives the experience of headlining on stage again, and while it brings her out of her shell, the experience still takes its toll.”


Would you recommend this film to a friend? 

Evleen: “Yes I would recommend the film. It’s different looking at the end of Judy’s career with flashbacks of what she had gone through.”

Igor: “I would, however, I would point out that it is a slower burn. This is ultimately where I think the film falls short. Because it is slower paced and intimate, it is important for all the key moments of character development to have a strong impact. When they do not have this intended impact, the film feels like it is dragging.”


Did the film club discussion change your opinion of the film, or were there any comments made by other members that you particularly liked?’

Evleen: “Our opinions were similar but it was interesting to hear other perspectives. There were aspects I had missed that were part of our chat which made a part of the film make more sense to me. Good to chat to you Igor looking forward to The King’s Speech!”

Igor: “We felt similarly about the movie overall, albeit for different reasons. Hearing from people who had different memories of Judy’s childhood stardom reflect on the flashback scenes of the film was interesting.”


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Have you been tempted to watch ‘Judy’? Or perhaps fancy coming along to our next film club meeting? 

There’s still time to watch our next chosen film and come along to hear what others thought of it tomorrow at 1pm. The film we will be talking about is ‘The King’s Speech’ (2010), starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. You can watch the film online through a streaming service, or of course rent the DVD from your local library.

‘The King’s Speech’ on Netflix 

‘The King’s Speech’ on Amazon Prime


Watch the trailer here:


Click here to find out more about our film club meetings and how to book your place. We’d love to welcome you there!

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