Wife. Mother. Actor. Singer. Judy Garland was all of these things as well as an indisputable legend who passed away all too soon. Even though she had an illustrious career that spanned nearly half a century, the new Judy trailer explores Judy Garland’s final months before her tragic death at the age of 47. And while Renee Zellweger’s transformation into the late star is no doubt impressive, the film looks like it will be so much more than just another eye-catching Hollywood transformation. All in all, the trailer looks beautiful, fascinating, and filled with drama, but also pretty sad.
As many fans know, Garland — born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1922 — basically spent her entire life in show business. Both of her parents were vaudeville performers, as were her two sisters, Dorothy Virginia and Mary Jane. When she was only two years old, she, Dorothy, and Mary Jane began performing together in a traveling vaudeville act called The Gumm Sisters. There must have been something particularly special about Garland, though, as she ended up going solo.
Flash-forward to 1936, and Garland, 13, was making her feature film debut in Pigskin Parade. Then, just a mere three years later, the teenage actor landed her now-iconic role as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. She pretty much shot to super-stardom after that, which ultimately may have contributed to her life-long struggle with substance abuse and depression, all of which comes to a head in the newly released Judy trailer.
Garland died in 1969 of an accidental overdose at the age of 47. In the months leading up to her death, she was in the midst of reviving her career with a five-week sold-out concert run at The Talk of the Town in London. And this is when Judy takes place, seemingly picking up just as the legendary performer is offered the opportunity to go to London.
The new trailer opens with Garland — flanked by two of her young children — getting the news that her hotel suite has been released due to her account being in arrears. After that, things appear to go downhill pretty quickly, as Garland struggles to find work and provide for her family.
When The Talk of the Town opportunity eventually presents itself, Garland seems apprehensive. "You’re saying that I have to leave my children if I want to make enough money to be with my children?" she laments. Indeed, that appears to be the case, but the pressures of performing in London while being away from her kids quickly takes an unfortunate toll.
On the bright side, Entertainment Weekly reported in March that the film would feature most of Garland’s most iconic songs — so, it’ll certainly pay positive tribute to the late star in that way. And while it will undoubtedly focus on a tumultuous time in Garland’s life, Zellweger assured USA Today in May that her "intentions [in taking on the role] were to celebrate and adore her in this work."
Judy hits theaters on September 27. It definitely isn’t going to be all ruby red slippers, rainbows, and yellow brick roads, but hopefully it does her justice.
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