Renée Zellweger is back, and the Academy is giving her a warm welcome.
As expected, Zellweger on Sunday won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy. This was her second Oscar win after taking Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for Cold Mountain, but it's her first win in the Best Actress category. She was also nominated for Chicago and Bridget Jones's Diary.
Zellweger was the frontrunner to win Best Actress going back several months, and she previously swept the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and the British Academy Film Awards. She was competing against Cynthia Erivo, Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, and Charlize Theron.
Judy was seen as a return to form for Zellweger, who took a hiatus from acting for six years before returning with Bridget Jones's Baby in 2016. The Academy loves nothing if not a comeback narrative and on Sunday was eager to reward Zellweger for her widely-praised, transformative performance.
In her acceptance speech, Zellweger paid tribute to Garland, calling her "among the heroes who unite and define us."