Scene: Quick Read Reviews and Double Bill Recommendations

JUDY (2019)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Adapted from the stage play End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter and directed by Rupert Goold, Judy is a devastating, heartbreaking, yet tender and loving exploration of a woman in freefall, desperately trying to cling on to the rock face of stardom as her nails give way one by one.

Unlike many biopic performances, Zellweger’s performance never seeks to embellish or lovingly re-draw Garland for a modern audience. Instead, she captures a voice slowly breaking yet beautiful and a lifetime of buried pain and hurt that resurfaces in fits of anxiety, doubt and nervous energy.

The result is a tender, loving and honest exploration of a woman who lived for the stage and suffered for her art. Her choices, addictions and vulnerabilities formed by a yellow brick road through Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s Hollywood powerhouse of dreams and nightmares.


ELVIS (2022)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Baz Luhrmann’s epic jukebox exploration of the life, career, rise and fall of Elvis Aaron Presley is a fascinating, fantastical biopic. On the one hand, Elvis is a glittery tribute to a musical legend many call the King of Rock n Roll. But on the other, it’s a melancholic portrait of the horrors of fame and the devil in disguise. Money.

Elvis is a fantasia, a fairytale with moments of spine-tingling beauty and deep, inescapable horror. In Luhrmann’s world Elvis is a puppet from the moment he agrees to let Colonel Tom Parker (a sinister and almost cartoon-like Tom Hanks) into his life. Parker’s strings extend from every limb of our dancing and singing boy – pulling, manipulating and controlling every move. Austin Butler brings this scared, delicate, beautiful and powerful boy and man to life with such love, grace and sincerity that one could almost be watching the hip-swinging King himself.

Of course, some fairytales have happy endings, but not this one. We all know how this story ends. But that doesn’t make the final few frames of Luhrmann’s movie any less heartbreaking as the puppet master squeezes every last drop of energy from his marionette before the strings finally break. (NEIL BAKER)


If you thought the first season of Chucky was nuts, just wait till you get a load of this! Any rules built over the years are duly thrown to one side as Chucky Season 2 carves its own unique place in Chucky-Lore. From the return of Glen to doll-obsessed nuns, a heavenly father (Devon Sawa) who looks a lot like a dead dad, dodgy psychologists (Rosemary Dunsmore), and the Lex Luther/ Apocalypse Now-inspired ‘Colonel’ (Brad Dourif). Season two is a rollercoaster ride of camp horror, gore, comedy and devilishly good performances from Zackary Arthur, Bjorgvin Arnarson, and Alyvia Alyn Lind. (NEIL BAKER)

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