Renée Zellweger busted out the pipes in Judy, singing and dancing to some of the most celebrated Judy Garland standards of all time. To adequately capture Garland’s voice in the late 1960s, Zellweger had to shake the “bright, little voice” that defined Roxy Hart in 2002’s Chicago. Yet, Zellweger caught a bit of a break in that she didn’t have to sing like Garland in her Wizard of Oz days; she had to sing like Garland during her last string of concerts.
Later in life, Garland’s voice began to feature a lower register, bits of talk-singing, and even moments of breathiness. At the end, Garland had fears getting onto the stage, and the movie aimed to make such moments “precarious,” as Zellweger once explained. Doubt and uncertainty plagued her London performances, for Garland didn’t know if she would be able to bring her top-notch skills to the stage night after night.
Zellweger captures this sentiment beautifully in Judy — vocally conveying Garland’s power and vulnerability, her demanding presence, and her softer tenderness in each song she takes on. Zellweger sings a handful of Garland songs in Judy — ranging in tempo, melody, and emotion.
Zellweger sings “By Myself” in Judy — a 1937 jazz standard memorably featured in the 1953 musical comedy Bandwagon.
“Get Happy” is easily one of Garland’s most well-known songs, and she sang it in 1950’s Summer Stock.
“For Once in My Life”
“For Once in My Life” was popularized by Stevie Wonder as a Motown hit, but many also remember Judy Garland’s take on the song. Garland’s take is more of a reflective ballad.
“Zing Went the Strings”
Garland recorded “Zing Went the Strings” numerous times in her career, including in the 1938 film, Listen, Darling.
“You Made Me Love You”
Garland sang “You Made Me Love You” to a photograph of Clark Gable in Broadway Melody of 1938; she was 15 years old at the time.
“Come Rain or Come Shine”
“Come Rain or Come Shine” was written for the musical St. Louis Woman. Garland included it on her 1951 Judy LP and on her live album, Judy at Carnegie Hall.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Though many artists went on to sing this hit holiday tune, it was introduced in 1944’s Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Garland.
“The Trolley Song”
“The Trolley Song” is from 1944’s Meet Me in St. Louis. The song’s scene features Garland on a train, excitedly singing about a man who has seized her affection.
“The Man That Got Away”
Garland sings “The Man That Got Away” in the 1954 musical A Star Is Born.
“San Francisco” became one of Garland’s go-to songs, yet she added an introduction that paid tribute to Jeanette McDonald; McDonald sang the number six times in a film by the same name.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
Arguably Garland’s most well-known song, she sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.