Saint Judy is a 2019 film based on a true story and a real attorney.
4 out of 10 stars. The story is compelling and keeps you washing, but Michelle Monaghan was the wrong person to cast in this role.
10 out of 10 stars to the real Judy Wood who should have been made a judge.
It’s unclear what time period this is supposed to be, but Judy Wood is an attorney who moves with her adolescent son to Los Angeles as part of the custody agreement with her ex, also an attorney, who lives in LA and wants to be in his son’s life. She takes a job as an immigration attorney for the public defenders office and one of her first cases is that of Asefa Ashwari, an Afghan woman whose been detained in an ICE prison for more than a year. When Judy goes to visit Asefa she finds her almost comatose from being given heavy drugs that affect her ability to function or even speak. Judy immediately finds an immigrant doctor to visit Asefa and be her expert witness to have Asefa taken off the drugs. And what she discovers is that Asefa was a teacher of girls in her village and her father was the tribal leader. When she showed defiance to her father by teaching the girls he ordered the Taliban to come in an teach her a lesson. They beat and raped her over a period of twenty-four hours. She fled the country and managed to survive.
Judy pours everything she has into Asefa’s defense, getting herself fired from her public defenders job immediately, so she opens up an office on skid row and takes on 267 immigrant cases. When Asefa’s case finally comes up, she’s denied asylum for one reason–because she’s a woman and women are not a protected minority. It isn’t until Asefa’s uncle speaks with Judy and tells her what happened to him that she realizes Asefa wasn’t raped because she was a woman; she was raped because she defied the strict religious doctrine of the Taliban. That gives her protected status as a political activist on behalf of women which is very different. Her appeal is granted and she speaks before the 9th Circuit Court and wins. That case becomes the case that grants asylum to women.
4 out of 10 stars. It’s disheartening and actually rather disgusting that every time a Hollywood producer wants to make a film about someone special they go to great lengths to get an actress who is attractive. The real Judy Wood is short, overweight, and very unattractive. She looks nothing like Michelle Monaghan. That the producers and director made no effort to get an actress who looks like Wood is a real shame. It makes this film very unauthentic. Not to mention that Michelle Monaghan has appeared nude in so many soft porn roles. Casting her was a huge mistake.