If ever there were a role designed to attract gold statuettes, this is it. The last tragic months in the life of Hollywood legend Judy Garland provide Renée Zellweger the role of a lifetime in “Judy.” After 30 years of drugs, insomnia and loveless marriages, Garland attempts a comeback on the London stage. Zellweger captures the physical and emotional fragility of the offstage Judy even though she’s not quite able to nail Garland’s on-stage magnetism. The movie’s execution is pedestrian, but Zellweger’s empathetic performance boosts “Judy” a notch above the standard biopic.
Following “Smallfoot” and “Missing Link,” the animated family flick “Abominable” is the third animated movie about a yeti in the past year…and it’s probably the best of the three. A young abominable snowman escapes from an evil corporation. A teen girl and two friends help the magical creature return to his home on Mount Everest. Although the story feels like they were making it up as they went along, “Abominable” is a likable and beautifully animated fantasy.
From the “What on Earth were they thinking?” file comes the redneck comedy, “The Death of Dick Long.” Two bumbling hicks in a small Southern town dump a bleeding friend at the hospital and take off in fear. After their inept coverup attempts, we ultimately learn that the trio were involved in bestiality. It’s well acted but otherwise completely misguided.
Also opening this week, “Bliss” is an ultraviolent horror film about an artist who partakes of a potent drug to spark her creativity. “Love, Antosha” is a documentary about the late actor Anton Yelchin. “The Day Shall Come” is a comedy about the feds attempts to frame and entrap would-be terrorists. “Before You Know It” is a backstage drama about a small New York theater. “The Sound of Silence” is a drama about an acoustics expert and his sensitive clients. And “Aquarela” is a documentary about man’s relationship with water.