The new Judy Garland biopic “Judy” opens on September 27, and that’s the same day Decca and Republic Records will release the accompanying soundtrack album, which will feature a couple of newly recorded duets. Renee Zellweger stars in the film as Garland and teams up with Sam Smith on Garland’s classic song “Get Happy.” And the actress joins forces with Rufus Wainwright on a rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” So Zellweger could potentially win an Oscar and a Grammy for her new project.
Smith said in a statement, “When I was 17 years old I did a project on Judy Garland for my Film Studies A-Level. I was immediately immersed into the magic of Judy and her incredibly brave and triumphant story. She has remained as one of the icons of my life. She was one of the bravest humans out there and her vulnerability and honesty in her art still gives me goose bumps like it did the first time. It was truly an honour to sing with Renee. Nobody could have played Judy as well as Renee, and it is a career highlight for me to be singing with her, and in some small way, with Judy. I hope everyone loves the film as much as I did.”
Wainwright added, “Judy Garland has been a constant force in my life. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was one of the pyramids of culture that I gazed at as a small child. It’s nice to come back and observe her again in the film and through this wonderful duet with Renee, her performance is astounding in a film that focuses on the love and the generosity that Judy always had for the world around her. It reminds me of how unique her life and art were.”
Zellweger is already an Oscar winner (Best Supporting Actress for 2003’s “Cold Mountain”), and now she could win Best Actress for her role as the legendary singer and movie star. But could she win a Grammy too? She’d follow in the footsteps of a recent Grammy champ better known for his acting chops: Bradley Cooper, who won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance earlier this year with Lady Gaga for their “A Star is Born” anthem “Shallow.” Garland, of course, starred in a previous version of “A Star is Born,” so that would be fitting.
Before this Zellweger showed off her musical skills with her Best Actress-nominated role in “Chicago,” and then by dueting with Ewan McGregor in the retro rom-com “Down with Love,” whose title came from a song once recorded by — you guessed it — Judy Garland. So everything comes full circle.
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