Weekend Movie Review: 'Judy' And 'Abominable'
This weekend, the highly-anticipated Judy Garland biopic hits theaters near you, in which Renée Zellweger plays the legendary singer. The film follows the final weeks before her untimely death in June 1969.
Meanwhile, the animation “Abominable” comes alive on the big screen with a 2000-mile epic adventure, starring Chloe Bennet as a teenager who accidentally stumbles upon a furry yeti headed to the Himalayas to reconnect with his family.
Here’s what to see and what to skip this weekend:
Movies Out This Weekend
“Judy” — Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock; directed by Rupert Goold
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Rupert Goold’s biopic stars Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland, the talented ingénue who became a Hollywood legend — and whose personal life seemed utterly devoid of the true happiness that’s promised in her iconic song, “Over the Rainbow.”
Based on Peter Quilter’s 2008 stage play, “End of the Rainbow,” the film adaptation centers around the final months before Garland’s untimely death at 47 to an accidental overdose in June 1969.
“Judy” opens with a flashback to 1938, during the “The Wizard of Oz” filming, and it shows a young Garland (played by Darci Shaw) grappling with anxiety and addiction issues. The 1939 movie classic will catapult Garland’s career to stardom, but the price of fame will take its toll on her life in the years to come, as she struggles with her personal demons.
The film then shifts its focus on a financially strapped Garland, who is now a four-time divorcée with two young children, Lorna (Bella Ramsey) and Joey (Lewin Lloyd). At this point in time, the movie also shows that her eldest daughter, Liza Minelli (Gemma-Leah Devereaux), is already grown and working in Hollywood.
As Garland attempts to revive her declining career, the iconic singer accepts a lucrative five-week engagement to perform at a trendy London nightclub. But the singing diva’s act will turn out to be disastrous and lackluster— even booed with hurling insults beyond belief!
In the end, ironically, Judy Garland will not find the pleasant world promised in her signature song, “Over the Rainbow.”
See it. Renée Zellweger deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Her magnificent performance is a compelling portrait of a fragile-yet-ferocious soul who’s tirelessly searching for true happiness in life. Plus, it’s all Zellweger singing the Judy Garland’s classic songs — no lip syncing!
Watch the trailer:
“Abominable” — Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai; directed by Jill Culton
The power of music to express silent lyricism comes alive in “Abominable,” the first female-led, major-studio animated film with a female central character.
Directed by Jill Culton, the movie opens with a young, captive yeti escaping a high-tech lab. Moments later, Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet), a fatherless Shanghai teen, unwittingly finds the massive furry creature in her secret hideaway located on the roof of her apartment building.
The young girl lures the yeti with steamed pork buns. It does the trick, and finally, Yi makes a new friend, whom she endearingly names Everest.
It’s only a matter of time before Yi and her BFFs, Jin (voiced by Tensing Norgay Traior) and Peng (voiced by Albert Tsai), discover that Everest longs to go home and be reunited with his family at the highest point of Earth.
And so begins the newfound besties’ 2000-mile adventure from the streets of China to the breathtaking Himalayan snowscapes. Along the way, Yi’s sensitive violin solos will serve as their guiding light in the face of a looming threat.
See it. The movie delivers a good dose of family-friendly entertainment despite its predictable plot and formulaic script. Plus, the montage surrounding Coldplay’s song, “Fix You,” will resonate with the audience while shining a light on life lessons.