Film Reviews

JUDY (12A)

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 08:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 10:56 am
Judy. Pictured: Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland. PA.

In a long, distinguished career on stage and screen, which soared over the rainbow in 1939 when she donned Dorothy Gale's ruby slippers in The Wizard Of Oz, Judy Garland was twice nominated for Academy Awards and lost both times.

Fifty years after her death in London, Garland may have her glittering moment in the Oscars spotlight after all courtesy of Renee Zellweger's tour-de-force portrayal in Judy. Adapted from Peter Quilter's award-winning stage play End Of The Rainbow, director Rupert Goold's impeccably choreographed drama focuses on the final months of Garland's life when she married her fifth husband and sought refuge on this side of the Atlantic.

Fittingly, Zellweger is the talk of every glossy frame. Singing with her own voice in a lower octave, the Texan actress commits fully and fiercely to a showstopping, sympathetic and defiant embodiment of a fading songbird enslaved to a daily regime of amphetamines and sleeping pills.

READY OR NOT (18)

A wedding night ritual warps a childhood game of hide and seek into an exhilarating battle for survival in Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's twisted horror comedy.

Shot with a severed tongue wedged firmly in bullet-torn cheek, Ready Or Not is a gloriously gory and giddily entertaining bloodbath, anchored by a standout lead performance from Samara Weaving as the blushing bride, who unwittingly marries into a family of devil-worshipping lunatics.

Mischievous screenwriting duo Guy Busick and R Christopher Murphy have a foul-mouthed blast with their conventional premise of a damsel in distress being hunted for sport.

The marvellously macabre tone is set when one victim's final spluttering gasps repeatedly interrupt another character's battle cry and incite a hilariously over-the-top response.

A wince-inducing set-piece with a rusty nail clearly telegraphs its intent with sadistic glee but is no less effective when we are forewarned and already glimpsing the screen through interlaced fingers.