The Oscars love actors playing alcoholic, drug-addicted singers.
Last year, Rami Malek took home the big prize for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” beating out Bradley Cooper for his work as the fictional Jackson Maine in “A Star Is Born.”
Over the years, we’ve seen Jamie Foxx win for “Ray,” Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart and Marion Cotillard for “La Vie en Rose.” Joaquin Phoenix’s work as Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line” earned him a nomination and Diana Ross walked into the 1973 Academy Awards as nominee for “Lady Sings the Blues.”
And now, it’s Renée Zellweger’s turn. Her name is sure to be among the nominees when the nominations are announced in January for her work as Judy Garland in the upcoming “Judy,” director Rupert Goold’s adaptation of the Tony-nominated 2012 play “End of the Rainbow.” The Roadside Attractions/LD Entertainment drama is an intimate look at the last months of Garland’s life as she tries to revitalize her career with a series of concerts in London in 1969 all while battling pill and alcohol abuse and struggling to keep custody of two younger children, Lorna and Joey Luft.
The film’s world premiere on Friday served as the opening night film at the Telluride Film Festival. The line for the 6 p.m. show began to form at noon.
Zellweger received a standing ovation when she was introduced for the pre-screening tribute. At the end of the movie, there was plenty of sniffling heard throughout the 650-seat Palm theater. “That wrecked me,” one woman told a friend as they walked out of the theater.
Zellweger is no stranger to the Oscars. She took home the supporting actress prize for “Cold Mountain” in 2004 after being nominated in the lead category the year before for “Chicago” (she did her own singing in the musical movie as she also does in “Judy”). Zellweger was nominated for the first time 17 years ago for “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
“Judy” will also be presented at the Toronto International Film Festival before it opens in theaters on Sept. 27.