New musical biopic 'Judy' got five stars from us and deservedly so.
It follows the last days of actress and icon Judy Garland as she goes on a sold-out tour of shows in London. It has been thirty years since her Hollywood breakthrough and with her voice faltering, Judy is unsure how much she has left to give.
Renee Zellweger delivers an incredible performance in the title role and could very well win the Best Actress Oscar.
To mark the movie's release, we're recommending five Judy Garland movies you can watch either before or after it.
The Wizard of Oz
Well now, who hasn't seen 'The Wizard of Oz'? It was the film that shot Garland into stardom while its song 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' - which was nearly cut from the movie - became her signature song. The film set of 'The Wizard of Oz' provides the opening backdrop of 'Judy'. Interestingly the movie was considered a box office bomb at the time of release. Luckily, thanks to it being aired on the telly every Christmas, it turned it into the classic we have today.
Meet Me in St Louis
Speaking of Christmas classics, the season wouldn't be complete without Garland's 'Meet Me in St. Louis'. The movie follows a year in the life of the Smith family as they are faced with the prospect of moving house. Shot in beautiful technicolour, the musical contains such classics as 'The Trolley Song' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'. For the latter, make sure you've tissues at the ready.
Babes in Arms
'Judy' makes reference to the numerous collaborations between Garland and Mickey Rooney in the 1930s-40s. These included 'Babes on Broadway', 'Girl Crazy', 'Love Finds Andy Hardy, 'Strike Up the Band' and 'Thoroughbreds Don't Cry'. But for many, the favourite is 'Babes in Arms'. When a group of vaudevillians hit the road hoping for a comeback, their kids put on a show themselves to raise money for the families and to prove they've got talent too.
Another fan favourite when it comes to Judy's movies is 'Easter Parade'. It co-stars another major musical performer (and exquisite dancer) of the classical Hollywood era - Fred Astaire. Astaire plays a nightclub performer who hires a naive chorus girl (Garland) to become his new dance partner. He wants to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star. It's got the vibes of those oldies like 'My Fair Lady' and 'Swing Time'. Simply a delight.
A Star is Born
Yes, for people who don't know it, Lady Gaga was not the original star of 'A Star is Born'. In fact she was the fourth person to play the role of the up-and-coming singer after Janet Gaynor in the 1937 original, Garland in the 1954 version and Barbra Streisand in the 1974 remake. In what is one of Garland's most moving performances, Garland makes Esther come alive. You are devastated for her as she watches her husband disintegrate into alcoholism and depression as her own career takes off. Fans of last year's 'A Star is Born' will definitely enjoy 'Judy' given they share numerous themes in common.