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Renee Zellweger's Cover of 'Over the Rainbow' Wins Raves

Film about Judy Garland comes out next month
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2019 3:50 PM CDT

(Newser) Judy is still a month away from theaters, but the release of its version of Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow" has people impatient to see the film. Renée Zellweger's performance is on Spotify, and Kellen Beck writes on Mashable that the actress, who also sang in the hit film Chicago, displays "a whole other level of talent" in the new "spot-on cover." The film is set in 1968 London, where Garland was performing while battling addictions and money problems and planning a comeback. Based on the 2005 stage musical End of the Rainbow, per the Los Angeles Times, the film opens Sept. 27. It's mostly about the end of her life but includes flashbacks as far as 1939, when The Wizard of Oz was released.

"It’s much more than a ‘who knew an actress could sing?’ performance," professional soprano Catherine Bell told Classic FM. "Hearing this version definitely makes me look forward to seeing the movie." It's clear that Zellweger has been listening to Judy Garland, Bell said, and is aiming for a "breathy, slightly nasal sound" that captures "how the burnt-out star might have sounded" at the time. As good as it is, Zellweger's performance still serves as a reminder of Garland's greatness. "Garland made that song almost un-coverable by anyone else," Bell said. "She owns it in perpetuity." (Read more Renee Zellweger stories.)

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