ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Judy & Punch" Movie Review

Updated on June 24, 2020
Judy & Punch
Judy & Punch | Source

The directorial debut of Australian actress Mirrah Foulkes, Judy & Punch is one of those bizarre, quirky indie films that will leave you scratching your head and wondering whether or not you like it, even as you admire the heady, avant-garde filmmaking at its core. I’m pretty sure I liked it, but this one’s going to have to marinate a while.

To be sure, there is plenty here worth admiring, including a powerhouse performance from Mia Wasikowska (where has she been lately?) as the battered and bruised better half of the titular puppeteering duo. And Foulkes’s direction (as well as her whack-a-doo script) certainly keeps things interesting nearly every step of the way.

Set during Elizabethan times, the film picks up with Punch (Damon Herriman) and Judy putting on a show for the bawdy folks of Seaside, England (which we’re told is, aptly enough, nowhere near the sea). The crowd eats it up, but Judy’s furrowed brow suggests something is rotten. Turns out, it’s her thraldom in an abusive relationship; Punch is a misogynistic alcoholic only concerned with catching the eye of talent scouts whose approval will allow him to leave his dungheap of a village far behind.

When Judy leaves their newborn behind with Punch one afternoon in order to run a few errands, it doesn’t take long for him to snatch a tipple. And it takes even less time for him to forget the child and eventually bring about the tyke’s death (in what is easily the most simultaneously horrifying and hilarious scene put on film so far this year). When Judy returns, things only get worse, leaving her to spend the rest of the film plotting crafty revenge on her schmuck husband.

As the beating heart at the center of the film, Wasikowska offers up a career-best performance full of strength, determination, and vitality. And Harriman, even as the consummate villain, may just make you stand up and applaud. The loudest kudos, though, go to Foulkes herself, who has not only created a film but a world that will stay on your mind long after. (Anywhere you can get twin urchins with the names “Pancake” and “Flea” is a memorable world indeed.)

A delightfully anachronistic presentation (a Leonard Cohen ballad and a word-for-word swath of dialogue from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator both feature prominently), it’s safe to say you’ve not seen the likes of Judy & Punch anytime recently, if at all. There’s no doubt that it takes a little getting used to, but the end result is a highly entertaining and ultimately satisfying film, the likes of which we could use more of.

Well, heck—looks as though I’ve gone and talked myself right into it.


3.5/5 stars

'Judy & Punch' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)