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Ray (2004)

Ray (2004)

Jamie Foxx pays homage to the Genius in this lively and spirited biopic

7.1

Movie

United States of America
English
Drama, Music
2004
TAYLOR HACKFORD
Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Bokeem Woodbine, Carol Sutton
152 min

TLDR

Watch for Jamie Foxx, but just don’t expect any meaningful discussion about disability, race, drug addiction, and/or womanizing.

What it's about

From humble beginnings and childhood tragedies growing up in a Northern Florida plantation, Ray Charles rose through the Seattle jazz scene, redefining soul music in the 1950s and 60s.

The take

While it plays the standard beats of the musician biopic, Ray is a fairly entertaining biopic centered on Ray Charles, the man that pioneered soul music, mixing in rhythm and blues, jazz, and gospel into a brand new sound. It goes through plenty of the melodramatic moments familiar to the genre– the prior hardships, the drug addiction, and of course, the moments of musical bliss– and there are some fictionalized moments, but Jamie Foxx’s excellent portrayal and Charles’ tunes are able to carry the film all the way through. Though the way Charles was parented in childhood is a tough watch, and isn't the best way to parent, Ray sticks true to the singer’s life, with every scene personally approved by the legend before his death.

What stands out

Jamie Foxx. Gluing your eyes shut might be a little extreme for most actors, but it made for an exceptional performance.

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