Ray

2004

Action / Biography / Drama / Music

83
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 81%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 121968

Synopsis


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November 05, 2014 at 08:33 PM

Cast

Bokeem Woodbine as Fathead Newman
David Krumholtz as Milt Shaw
Kerry Washington as Della Bea Robinson
Warwick Davis as Oberon
1080p.BLU
2.16 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 32 min
P/S 12 / 66

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mstomaso 10 / 10

Phenomenal biographical film with intense and memorable performances

Jamie Foxx leads a brilliant cast in this powerful voyage through the life of the blind, emotionally troubled, African American genius of pop jazz, Mr. Ray Charles. Though the entire cast performs wonderfully, Mr. Foxx earned more than simply an Oscar. If it were possible to nominate an actor in consecutive years, I would consider doing so for Mr. Foxx. Foxx doesn't just play Charles, he re-creates him. CJ Sanders and Sharon Warren also deserve special mention for their portrayal of Ray's mother (the inspiration of his life) and young Ray. These two provided the strongest support in the film.

The dramas of Charles' struggles with guilt, the death of his younger brother and mother, blindness, discrimination, addiction, and success, are neatly woven into the tapestries of his music. The music is beautiful, the script is, as far as I can tell, perfect, and the acting is nothing short of legendary.

The directorial method of the film warrants discussion. Taylor Hackford - a director I am generally ambivalent about - had to choose what aspects of the larger-than-life and complex life story of Mr. Charles would tell his story most honestly, dramatically, and understandably. Though some disagree (seemingly wanting a documentary instead of a dramatized biopic) I believe he selected his themes admirably. A big part of the success of this film is its consistent focus on a few persistent themes in Charles' life - his profound love and respect for his mother, his need to be loved and accepted, his addiction and guilt complex, his musical genius, and his deep-seated fear of responsibility for others. Charles is depicted as a man struggling valiantly against an army of personal demons. I learned more than I could have imagined about one of the men I used to listen to on my old turntable with my dad in his livingroom on Sunday nights while football games were on the TV. And nothing was sugar-coated in "Ray." The themes are carried forward with power and human dignity. These themes create a unifying drama which span the length of his long and illuminated life. The power of these themes, the strong script and directing, the music, and the acting make this one of the most enjoyable and evocative biographical films I have seen.

Recommended for everyone.

Reviewed by chaswe-28402 6 / 10

Memorable songs, but that's about it

As presented in this biopic, Ray had a personality that fell well short of merit and likability; even after making allowance for the short straws he was handed from childhood. Some people's character is improved by suffering. Evidently not Ray's. Another reviewer describes him as a drug using, cheating, greedy man who happened to have a great voice. There's obviously more to it, but on balance the picture presented here is not exactly pretty. It is possible, perhaps, that Ray was punishing himself, or suffering from a perverse kind of guilt, for not having saved his little brother from drowning. Perhaps he felt he'd paid for it by going blind. Who can tell ? In any biography the truth gets lost in the past and the re-telling, like tears in rain. I'm not inclined to re-watch this account. The actor did a good job.

Reviewed by jeffybay 7 / 10

A peerless performance in a decent biopic

Jamie Foxx deserves every drop of praise that he has received for this film. His performance goes beyond impersonation or embodiment, he simply becomes Ray Charles. It is such an amazing performance, that it serves to shine a light on some of the film's shortcomings. This is a largely by-the-numbers biopic that hits all the familiar beats -- drug abuse, family drama, breakout performances -- but Foxx elevates every moment of it.

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