Throughout this year’s awards season, one thing has remained clear: Renée Zellweger is the Oscar frontrunner for Best Actress. After taking a six-year hiatus from Hollywood, Zellweger has memorably embodied Judy Garland during the last year of her life for Rupert Goold’s Judy. However, Garland’s famous daughter, Liza Minnelli, has treated the movie with a deafening silence.
Back in 2018, Liza Minnelli made it clear to the public that she was not in support of Judy. The EGOT winner said straight out that she did “not approve or sanction” the biopic “in any way.” Here’s what she says now:
I hope [Zellweger] had a good time making it.
It’s not a lot to go on. The inflection in which she said it is not described during her Variety cover interview, and she doesn’t say anything else besides this about the Oscar-nominated film. All we know is that Liza Minnelli has no interest in seeing it and she wishes Renée Zellweger well. Given her prior feelings expressed on the film, this is an elegant response from the daughter of Judy Garland.
Judy follows the showbiz icon during her last series of concerts in London. The movie sheds light on Garland’s alcohol and drug addiction onset by being forced to pop pills by MGM during The Wizard of Oz. She was embroiled in a custody battle over her younger children, and Liza Minnelli was 22, starting to make a name for herself in the industry.
The movie has proved to be big for Renée Zellweger’s career considering the actress has won a Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG award for the role. On the Oscars trail, of course, she’s been asked about Liza Minnelli. Here’s what Zellweger previously said:
I do know that representatives of the family and the estate have seen the film, so that makes me smile… It’s an emotional thing, and probably a very complicated thing, but my hope is that, like you said, that it’ll be recognized as an expression of affection and adoration and sort of a proclamation of her importance.
Judy’s director Rupert Goold has also responded to Liza Minnelli’s concerns over the drama with these words:
I mean, if somebody made a movie about my mum, I would go, 'That's not the story I'd tell!' It's an invasion of privacy at some level, I suppose. And that's the complexity of being a child of a star, is it's somebody you want to own in an intimate personal way, yet is sort of in a gaudy way, like, public property.
Rupert Goold also shared his hope that one day Liza Minnelli would decide to view the film and find it as “celebratory” as he intended it to be. When the Cabaret star first spoke about the film, she said she hoped Hollywood wouldn’t do “what they always do.” Since Judy was released, she still won’t associate herself with it to give audiences her perspective on the movie.
Renée Zellweger is nominated alongside two others based on real-life people: Cynthia Erivo for Harriet Tubman in Harriet and Charlize Theron’s Megyn Kelly in Bombshell. Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story and Saorise Ronan for Little Women round out the Best Actress nominees.
The 92nd Academy Awards air this Sunday, February 9 on ABC.