LFF Review: Sid & Judy

There can be few, if any, more famous child stars than Judy Garland. Her performance as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz captivated several generations of children. She went on to have a career which spanned 45 years, but nothing ever quite reached the same heights. However, despite many setbacks she went on to star in Meet Me in St Louis, A Star is Born and Easter Parade, have successful television and stage shows.

She won over America, and the world, with her bubbly and exuberant personality and rich beautiful voice. However, hers is a tragic tale. In Sid & Judy, the new documentary from Stephen Kijak, he looks at her life over five decades. John Hamm narrates from the memoirs of her third husband, Sidney Luft, whilst Jennifer Jason Leigh voices Garland. This is combined with rare archive footage and the star’s personal recordings. Telling the inside story of their relationship, her later career and downfall.

Sid & Judy is a lively and entertaining documentary which affords the audience a unique insight into the life of one of America’s most popular daughters. Kijak keeps things ticking over at a lively pace. It never once lets up or feeling baggy. His decision to approach the material from such an unusual angle really pays dividends. Allowing us a glimpse behind the curtain of celebrity. Sid & Judy is a fascinating portrait of a damaged star.  

Sid & Judy screens again at London Film Festival on 6 October.

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