Renée Zelwegger as Judy Garland in Judy.

 

Hollywood A-lister Renée Zellweger has wowed Melbourne and Sydney with a whistle-stop tour promoting her critically acclaimed new film about the late, great Judy Garland, Judy.

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The Academy Award and multiple Golden Globe winner appeared at the movie’s premiere in both cities this month, followed on both occasions by a Q&A with audience members.

 

The Melbourne premiere of the hotly anticipated film was held at the city’s sumptuous Capitol Theatre, while the Sydney premiere—presented in association with Queer Screen—was held at the Randwick Ritz. 

 

Zelwegger has been widely praised for her portrayal of Garland, with The Guardian describing her as “phenomenally good”, Rolling Stone calling it “one of the best performances of the year” and Radio Times declaring: “Zellweger sings the classic Garland songbook with such astounding accuracy there won’t be a dry eye in the house.”

 

The film focuses largely on Garland’s final years, honing in on her final run of concerts at the Talk of the Town in London in 1969, in which the legendary performer—plagued by anxiety, exhaustion and substance abuse issues—gave erratic performances peppered by moments of brilliance. 

 

The movie has a strong Australian connection, being based on End of the Rainbow, the stage production about Garland’s final months which premiered in Sydney in 2005 with Australian performer Caroline O’Connor playing the lead role. 

 

 

Judy is now playing in cinemas nationally.

Visit www.starobserver.com.au for an exclusive photo gallery by the Star’s own Ann-Marie Calilhanna of the Sydney Queer Screen premiere attended by Renée Zellweger

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