A short time ago, my family enjoyed one of our favorite holiday traditions. We watched "The Wizard of Oz" on TV together. Although technically not a Christmas movie, the beloved classic is shown every year around the holidays and thus has become part of the magical fabric of the season for millions of people of all ages.
The movie stars a young Judy Garland as Dorothy, which was arguably one of her most iconic roles. In a career that spanned 45 years and includes an impressive list of credits, the name Judy Garland is still familiar to new generations, as well as those who saw her movies when first released. Dying tragically of a drug overdose in 1969, her life was a constant struggle to find the elusive "somewhere over the rainbow."
Born Francis Ethel Gumm in 1922, she became Judy Garland at the age of 12, at the urging of MGM Studios. So began a pattern of having every detail of her life strictly controlled and manipulated. When and how long to sleep, if she could eat and what, even if she should become a mother. The exhausting and depressing schedule she was expected to follow, along with a regimen of drugs she was routinely given, took a tole and set the tone for the rest of her life.
The 2019 movie "Judy," starring Renée Zellweger, portrays Garland's incredible talents and rise to fame as well as the lifelong drug addiction that Hollywood inadvertently created for her.
Zellweger shines as Judy, and the movie is at times beautiful and heart-achingly touching, as it flashes between her early years at the studio and later when she is performing live on stage in London. Zellweger brings Judy Garland to life as more than just beloved roles, conjecture and rumor. She gives Garland humanity and we are invited to know her as a person. Her dreams, desires, fears, and insecurities seem to be the only constant in her tumultuous and too-short life.
The West Linn Adult Community Center is showing the movie "Judy" for the Monday Matinee Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. There is no cost to join us and popcorn will be provided. Please join us as we remember the rise and fall of Judy Garland.
The lunch menu this week features teriyaki chicken, steamed rice, broccoli and coconut pudding on Friday, Jan. 10; Swedish meatballs, egg noodles, peas and key lime pie on Monday, Jan. 13 and minestrone soup, roast beef sandwiches and strawberry shortcake on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Cost is $5 per person. Lunch is served at noon.
For more information about classes, events and activities at the WLACC call 503-557-4704 or stop by at 1180 Rosemont Road, West Linn 97068.
Keli Stevens is a volunteer at the West Linn Adult Community Center.
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