Movie Reviews: Ray




All Rights Reserved

Tara Casanova

     The life of legendary singer musician Ray Charles.
     Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell, Harry Lennix, Terrence Dashon Howard, Larenz Tate, Bokeem Woodbine, Regina King
Bottom Line:


Here’s why Jamie Foxx is going to win an Oscar for his uncanny portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles.

Let me rephrase that, since we’re fresh out of crystal balls.

Here’s why Jamie Foxx should win an Oscar, or at least an Oscar nomination for...well, you know the rest.

The reason is simple. Two minutes into the film Ray, Foxx is so convincing, you’ll believe he’s Ray Charles. Yeah, he’s that good.

Fact is, it’s unbelievable that Foxx, known for "booty call" genre films, could carry an entire film in a dramatic lead role. Then again, Foxx was convincing in the recent dramas Collateral and Redemption.

Maybe it’s because while preparing for the role, Foxx not only wore glasses that simulated blindness, he also received personal instruction on Ray Charles’ mannerisms and persona from the genius himself.

Yeah, Ray Charles took Foxx under his wing and advised him.

Plus the fact that Foxx has played the piano in his church since he was 3 years old didn’t hurt matters either.

The film covers Charles from an early age growing up in the 1930s to the mid-sixties when he’s busted for drug possession and decides to change his life around.

Director Taylor Hackford doesn’t attempt to portray Charles as a perfect man. But rather as a tarnished and tortured man who went blind from glaucoma at the age of 7 after witnessing his younger brother’s drowning accident. An accident he thought he could have prevented.

Charles struggles with the guilt of his brother’s death for years. However, with the staunch support of his single mother, Charles develops a strong and incredible talent that leads him to revolutionized American popular music and become his own man.

Hackford traces Charles’ humble beginnings from a young man who leaves a poor Southern town to play piano with a small band up North, to his growing fame that can’t satisfy his appetite for drugs and women.

Even his marriage to Della (Kerry Washington) a preacher’s daughter, doesn’t curb his heroin use, womanizing and longtime affair with Margie Hendrix (Regina King) a backup singer in his band.

Ray is laden with Ray Charles signature songs "Hit The Road Jack," "What’d I Say" and "Georgia On My Mind" and others puncuated by insightful scenes of how Charles was inspired to write those hits. On the advice of Quincy Jones (Larenz Tate), Charles fought segregation in southern clubs by refusing to perform in them.

The only flaw in this gem, is the film wraps up too quickly. But if the filmmakers tried to cover Charles’ entire life and times, the film would have easily run two hours longer.

Ray Charles died of liver disease in June, but not before seeing the film’s final cut. Reports are, he loved it.



Videos and DVDs
All Products

Search by Keywords