For what it’s worth, the snippets of Renee Zellweger‘s performance in this Judy trailer seem to have that certain snap-crackle-pop. No telling how the film will play, but Zellweger will probably land a Best Actress nomination. Performances of this type usually do. Rupert Goold and Tom Edge’s film will open on 9.27 via Roadside (a likely Toronto Film Festival headliner), and in England on 10.4.

Boilerplate: “An adaptation of the Olivier- and Tony-nominated Broadway play End of the Rainbow, Judy is about Garland’s last few months during a run of sell-out concerts at London’s Talk of the Town.”

I didn’t know or care much about personal problems, alcoholism and pharmaceutical abuse when I was a kid, but Judy Garland was the very first Hollywood star whom I associated with these issues. After seeing The Wizard of Oz at age seven or eight my mother (or was it my grandmother?) mentioned that Garland’s adult life was a mess. I never forgot that.

Garland had ten good years (mid ’30s to mid ’40s) before the gradual downswirl pattern (stress, anxiety, pills, self-esteem issues) kicked in. Garland was 31 when she made George Cukor‘s A Star Is Born, supposedly playing a fresh-faced ingenue but unvoidably looking like the battle-scarred showbiz veteran that she was. A barbituate overdose killed Garland at age 47, at which point she seemed 60 if a day.

Zellweger does all the singing, I’m told. I knew she could sing, of course, but sounding like Garland is another challenge.

Zellweger might be sufficient, good or great, but Anne Hathaway should have played Garland. She would’ve been perfect.

Liza Minnelli quote: “I just hope [the makers of this film] don’t do what they always do. That’s all I’ve got to say.”