Biopics have long been Oscar-bait, from 1936's The Great Ziegfeld onward. Watching an actor or actress lose themselves in a recognizable figure from history is one of the ways an A-lister can be assured of a tour-de-force performance. This worked as recently as last year when Rami Malek took home Best Actor for his turn as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. For the 2020 Oscars, there are multiple nominations for people playing real-life figures, but the most high-profile is Renee Zellweger for Judy Garland. Here's how to stream Judy for those who haven't seen her remarkable performance.
Judy was one of two biopics about famous singers to be released in the wake of last year's Bohemian Rhapsody. (The other, Rocketman starring Taron Egerton as Elton John, sadly did not garner a nomination.) But where both Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman both were set during the height of their subject's careers, Judy is set at the end of Garland's life. Zellweger gives a command performance of Garland's last tour, her final on-stage triumphs, and her inevitable self-sabotaged decline.
Based on the West End production of End of the Rainbow, the film itself is a strung-together rehash of cliches, with the supporting roles filled with all the usual suspects from your local PBS British imports. But Zellweger as Garland is something else entirely. She sometimes seems to have stumbled in from a different, far better film being made next door, and everyone is far too polite to correct her or send her back. But that's part of the point. Judy, in this telling, is someone almost from another world, here today, gone tomorrow. All anyone can do is gawk and applaud while she's still got it.
So where can one stream Judy? Unlike some of the current crop of nominees that are still playing nationwide, Judy was released back in September and has long left theaters. Unfortunately, it has not found its way to any of the monthly subscriber streaming services. You won't find it on Netflix or free with Amazon Prime. But it is available for a low rental fee from multiple sources. Judy is currently rentable on FandangoNow, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and RedBox, which all charge $5.99 for it. Amazon Rentals is running a deal cutting the fee to $3.99.
Judy is nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Actress for Zellweger. Though not backed up by a Best Picture nod, Zellweger is nonetheless considered a frontrunner, having taken home the Best Actress award at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, the Critic's Choice Awards, the National Board Of Review, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The 92nd Academy Awards will air at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, on ABC.