Judy Blu-ray review

Dec 10, 2019- Permalink

Judy, coming out on home video on December 24th, 2019, is a movie saved by a stellar performance. The movie focuses on a time in 1968 when Judy Garland performed a series of shows in London shortly before her death. It flashes back occasionally to Judy’s early years, when her life and career were in the hands of the extremely controlling Louis B. Mayer. We see the start of her dependence on pills – some doled out by the studio – and this background infuses the Garland we see portrayed by Renée Zellweger. Facing issues with money that lead to issues with custody of her two youngest, Garland takes on – but can barely complete – a series of shows in London. While the story is interesting, the script feels a bit small in comparison to the performance of its lead. While a sweeping biopic is in order for such a conflicted talent, this film just touches on a small timeframe and doesn’t get us too deep. It’s a small screen movie anchored by a big screen star. Zellweger’s performance as Garland is amazing. You forget she’s Renée, and for that reason fans of Garland, fans of Zellweger or just fans of strong performances might want to add Judy to the home media library. I was able to review the Blu-ray combo pack of Judy thanks to Lionsgate.

The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer is in the theatrical release’s 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The video presentation is top-notch and has excellent clarity and detail with excellent textures in the fabrics and environment. The colour palette swings from the bold primaries of the bigger production numbers to the more muted moments in homes and hotels. Black levels and shadow details are very good.

On the audio side, the only audio track is an English DTS Master Audio 5.1 track. The U.S. version I was sent had subtitles in English SDH and Spanish. The performance recreations are dynamic and Zellweger and the backing band are perfectly mixed. Their is some usage of the surround channels to give us some placement in the environment and dialogue is clear and centred.

Besides a DVD copy and a digital code, Judy is a little light on extras. There’s a very short “making of” video, an image gallery and the theatrical trailer.

While the story barely touches so many aspects of this extremely talented but terribly tragic woman, I’ll still recommend Judy due to excellent video, strong audio and an award worthy performance by Renée Zellweger.