reviews (a to z)# a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

home :: latest reviews :: reviewer profiles :: statistics :: diary :: links

Ray (2004)

  Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Written by: Taylor Hackford, James L. White
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Sharon Warren, Kerry Washington
Links: Ray on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Ray (2004) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Walk the Line (2005).

"Foxx is outstanding" - a review by pearly

Ray is a biography of Ray Charles. It tells the story of this lovable entertainer whose life was filled with many difficult times, in a heartfelt, yet warts-and-all way.

At two and a half hours, there's a lot of Ray to be seen. From the previews, I got the impression that the film would be in chronological order, however, it actually begins at a certain point in time (the eve of Charles leaving his home town to try for a career in music), and moving on from there, with intermittent flash-backs to his childhood. The style of this was almost like that of a thriller, where the backstory was revealed in chunks as you went along, and each helped you to better understand the present-day portion of the story, and while this could seem a little strange for a biographical true story, I found it to be quite effective.

The adult Charles is played by Jamie Foxx, who does an outstanding job. The only better portrayal of a real person that I have seen in recent times is Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator (2004). Foxx manages, with a little help from some strategically chosen sunglasses, to hide himself and you really can see visions of Charles himself in the portrayal. The best portions are those of him at the piano, moments which could have jarred and looked horribly wrong, but do in fact look remarkably on the money.

One of the best things about watching Ray, for me, was hearing all the music and remembering just how wonderful Charles was as a performer. He really did have many memorable songs that have withstood the test of time, and Ray gives time to these immortal moments that Charles has left behind, rather than just focussing on the drama behind the music. And yet, it is both these elements which, added together, make the film such an interesting experience. I personally didn't know much about Charles' life, and though I don't doubt that it's not entirely accurately told, the film did provide an interesting insight into the man behind the music.

I am currently reading Bob Dylan's autobiography Chronicles, Vol. 1, and I found that the two complement one another very nicely. While Dylan's book describes his entry into the music scene as a folk singer, and captures some of the interest of what was going on at the time, Ray gives us a similar look, in audio-visual form, of a period not too much earlier.

Ray is very nicely put together, a fascinating look into the life of one of the greats of the music industry, and was the right film at the right time for me.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 28 Feb 2005

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 1
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

No-one has commented on this movie yet.

Add a comment

Your name:
Email address:
Make public?
Anti-Spam question:To prove you're not a horrible spam-leaving robot, please answer the following question (use numbers):
If I have 8 Best Achievement in Editing Oscars and win 5 more Best Achievement in Editing Oscars, how many Best Achievement in Editing Oscars do I have?
Rate this movie:

You may use the <em>emphasis</em> and <strong>strong emphasis</strong> HTML tags. URLs beginning with ‘http://’ will be turned into links. Line breaks will display as entered.