Liza Minnelli graces the cover of Variety magazine’s annual Oscar edition, but anyone expecting the Hollywood icon to open up about Renée Zellweger’s performance as Judy Garland in the film “Judy” will be disappointed. Minnelli, a Best Actress Oscar winner herself for Bob Fosse’s “Cabaret” film adaptation, tells Variety she has no interest in seeing the film. The only comment Minnelli will make regarding Zellweger and “Judy” is the following: “I hope [Zellweger] had a good time making it.”
Zellweger is considered the frontrunner to win the Best Actress prize for playing Garland, mother of Liza Minnelli. The latter appears briefly in the Rupert Goold-directed drama, played by actress Gemma-Leah Devereux at the moment that Minnelli, in her 20s, had already launched a successful Broadway career. Zellweger has swept awards season this year by winning Best Actress trophies at the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the BAFTA Awards, and the Critic’s Choice Awards. An Oscar for “Judy” would give Zellweger the second Academy Award of her career and winning Best Supporting Actress for “Cold Mountain.”
Minnelli has mostly kept quiet about “Judy” this Oscar season, although she did come forward in June 2018 to say that she was not personally backing a fictional movie based on her mother’s life. In a post published on Facebook (via Vanity Fair), Minnelli denied she was involved in any capacity with “Judy,” writing, “I have never met nor spoken to Renee Zellweger. I don’t know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100% fiction.”
“Judy” world premiered at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival, where overwhelming raves for Zellweger’s performance made her an instant contender for the Best Actress Oscar. The film was released by LD Entertainment in September and grossed a sizable $39.2 million at the domestic box office. “Judy” is based on Peter Quilter’s play “End of the Rainbow” and centers on Garland later in life as she struggles to overcome substance abuse and mount a comeback by performing a series of sold out concerts at the Talk of the Town in London. Zellweger’s Best Actress bid is one of two Oscar nominations “Judy” received this year. The film is also nominated in the Best Makeup and Hairstyling category.