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Plot: The story of Ray Charles, music legend. Told in his adult live with flashbacks to his youth we see his humble origins in Florida, his turbulent childhood which included losing his brother and then his sight, his rise as pianist in a touring band, his writing his own songs and running his own band… Runtime: 152 min Release Date: 29 Oct 2004
First of all, it is sheer joy to hear the legend perform such wonderful and timeless music. This movie and soundtrack is a tour de force. Ray Charles is unique and amazing. I truly adored the film as it was inspiring and entertaining throughout. Jamie Foxx has become one of the premiere actors in Hollywood as is clearly shown in Ray and he should get an Oscar for this role, it is unprecedented. In fact, everyone who worked on this film should receive accolades. I really liked Kerry Washington who played the exceptional wife...Ray Charles obviously married well. Regina King is a fine actress <more>
as well as the extraordinary Sharon Warren who plays a struggling young mother.In all honesty, I'd say this whole project was providentially arranged. The entire cast was perfect, great screenplay and awesome settings...major props to the director Taylor Hackford and crew for doing such a splendid job in bringing the life of Ray Charles to the screen so flawlessly. This is my picture of the year, certainly one of the best biographical films ever made.
This movie has inspired me to be a better person. In life you don't know who you will run across and sometimes our prejudice will cause us to prejudge a person wrongly. I have learned to give a person the benefit of the doubt because of this movie. I also learned that tough love can build a stronger person. Now I want to know where to find the movie soundtrack. There are songs in this soundtrack I have been trying to get for years. May I comment on the acting for a second. Jamie Fox was outstanding. The man has risen to be the actor of actors. Also the performance of Regina King was <more>
awesome. If I can get a woman to look at me the way she looked at Ray...I can only dream. I plucked down $18.00 for this movie and I don't have a lot of money but I am willing to see this movie again and again. This movie touched me.
This is one of the best movies I have seen in years. I took me to a new time and place. It was as though I was right there with Ray through his many trials and triumphs. Jamie Foxx transformed himself into Ray. During the movie he was Ray. Also, Kerry Washington, Sharon Robinson and Regina King were superb. The movie was well cast and directed, the music was fantastic.I've seen the movie four 4 times with different people and the last time was just as enjoyable as the first time. I will buy the DVD as soon as it is released. This is a movie that will viewed over and over for years to <more>
Not a Ray fan? No problem. Cinema at its best (by agvii)
My wife wanted to see this movie and I grudgingly went along. I have never been a big fan of the biopic - believing that cinema is more exciting when it isn't structured in non-fiction. Beyond that, although I like Ray Charles' music just fine, I don't consider myself a fan of him or his music.I expected to either suffer or coast through this movie.I was wrong.This is an engaging story told in a classic cinematic style. The realism is in the nuances - the tilt of a character's head after a dramatic moment or the look in their eyes while they sing. I literally discovered myself <more>
involved in this movie during the course of viewing it.Jaime Foxx, of which much has been said, heads a cast of immaculate re-creators of not just a time, but an ERA, a LIFE that never really existed to those of us under forty. This movie sinks the audience into time without the gimmicks and grand sweeping panoramas of Titanic or other period pieces of that ilk. This movie doesn't present you with the 50's and 60's music scene, it takes you there.This is a movie about Ray Charles, but your appreciate of it should not be limited to the story of his life. This is the kind of movie, like Saving Private Ryan or Schindler's List, that does what a movie should do - bring you to another place, another time.
Great movie - love the music (by contactimprovisation)
Taylor Hackford wanted to make this movie for 15 years, and finally found Jamie Foxx to play the title role. Foxx is amazing in his portrayal of Ray Charles. From an interview I saw with Foxx, he met Charles several times and the two of them also played piano together Foxx had piano lessons as a young child and actually played piano in all his scenes . I didn't see Charles live until his later years, so it was great to get a perspective on how his career developed. I hope Foxx gets nominated for the Best Actor Oscar as he certainly deserves it. The music, also, is incredible - it really <more>
showcases the breadth of Charles' music, from country to blues, and everything in between. The movie also gives an unblemished account of Ray Charles' life, from the many women he had relationships with to his drug habit and the consequences of that.
Highlights of the Biography of a Great American Artist (by claudio_carvalho)
A couple of days ago I saw the awesome "House of Sand and Fog" and I was impressed with the amazing performance of Ben Kingsley in the lead role. I decided to see "Ray", trying to understand how and why Ben Kingsley did not win the Oscar of Best Lead Actor. After watching Jamie Foxx in the role of Ray Charles, I agree with the Academy: he really deserved to be awarded. I like Ray Charles, I was not his fan, but it is amazing the resemblance of Jamie Foxx with him. The film is completely supported by Jamie Foxx, who participates of most of the shootings, and his movements <more>
on stage looks like as if he was a reincarnation of Ray Charles. With regard to the story, I saw the extended version on DVD, too long but also very pleasant, with many beautiful songs and scenes showing mainly a junkie Ray Charles. My greatest surprise was to find that Ray Charles was heroine addicted, and how he treated his own family. The presentation of his childhood through fragmented flashbacks was the boring part of the movie. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : "Ray"
One incredible performance, one worthwhile movie (by bmcdannell)
Let's get the flaw out of the way right off the top - the movie should have been much longer. Ray Charles was a brilliant, fascinating man who lead a complex, challenging life. There was simply no way to fit it all - or even touch on it all - in a standard length movie. Given that, the makers of this film did an admirable and I'm sure quite agonizing job of putting together a film that could not tell the whole story yet managed to set forth a representative sampling of the man and his music. Ray Charles' strengths were evident throughout the film and his weaknesses were neither <more>
amplified nor sugar-coated. We could have wished for another hour chronicling his life after 1980, but I suppose that would have tended to turn the film into an homage and, while it would have also allowed for the resolution of several things that were left hanging at the end, on balance I guess it was better as presented.Now for the big question: what are the criteria for an Oscar? The wife and I have seen untold numbers of films in our years, but we immediately agreed that we have never seen a performance the equal of Jamie Foxx's. The line between actor and character was not blurred - but rather it disappeared completely. We had heard much of the hype before seeing the movie, but this was uncanny. Foxx WAS Ray Charles. You didn't watch the movie with the feeling that you were watching Foxx do an outstanding job of portraying Ray Charles - you watched it somehow believing or understanding that you were watching Ray Charles himself. I don't know how else to put it. We were completely blown away. I'll admit that we haven't seen all of the other performances up for an Oscar this year, but that really doesn't matter. Foxx took this to a whole nuther level, one which we've never witnessed before and doubt that we may ever see again. I can think of no other movie I've ever seen in which a person playing a part so completely and convincingly became the person portrayed. We salute you, Mr. Foxx. We understand that the awarding of an Oscar has to do with much more than the performance, but whether or not you win, we want you to know that you have done something that is in a class absolutely by itself and you should take enormous pride in your unparalleled achievement.P.S. The music was naturally great. I remarked to the wife that if there is one moment in the history of music to which I wish I could have been witness, it would have been the genesis in Kansas City, wasn't it? of What'd I Say? The film did a wonderful job with it - just wish I could've been there!
The Memorable Good & Bad Of Ray (by ccthemovieman-1)
Jamie Foxx does a fine job of impersonating the famous blues/soul/country singer Ray Charles. To the film's credit, it shows both the good and the bad regarding Charles' character and the choices he made, both personally and professionally.This is a slick-looking film that provides you with a rich feel of the periods in which the story takes place. Not only does it look good, it sounds good. I only wish there was more music in here. When it's inserted, it's fabulous but there isn't enough of it. Assuming, at least for review purposes, that the story was true, I was <more>
impressed and disappointed with Charles, meaning the story left some memorable impressions since I'm writing this 16 months after viewing it. Main impressions include:GOOD - Re-living Ray's immense talent and his foresight to step out and take chances musically, such as going "country" for awhile. The man had supreme confidence in himself but didn't come across as arrogant about it. Also memorable was showing him beating his heroin addiction - with no help! That's just amazing.BAD - I also remember through this film how easily hooked Ray got in the first place and disappointed he was so unfaithful to his wife. A really sad comment was that his wife was more upset with him for missing his kid's Little League games than she was for all the cheating he was doing on her, even fathering a child with a member of his singing group.The only negative I had with the filmmakers was the overemphasis of his problems being blamed on one early childhood event, the accidental death of his brother. That tragedy was used as cop-out for all Ray's misdoings as an adult, which is another example of a culture in which people refuse to take responsibility for their actions.Note: There is an extended version with the DVD but word has it that it is so poorly edited that it's not worth watching, so stick with the "theatrical version."
Let's not beat about the bush here, Taylor Hackford's undoubtedly slick movie has little to make it stand out from the biopic genre other than Jamie Foxx's exceptional, career-making performance. Remember the year they handed the special effects Oscar to the Terminator 2 boffins, uncontested? They should do the same with this year's Best Actor gong.That Ray Charles' story is worthy of filming is not in dispute. Indeed, the many flashbacks to his traumatic childhood are well-handled and judiciously used. But for a life so unique, the film seems incredibly formulaic and <more>
familiar. It follows the 'history of a flawed genius' template almost to the letter: hardship and exploitation, women and drugs, recording wrangles, band squabbles, rehab, yeah yeah yeah. And surely there was more humour in his life than we're treated to here?I appreciate Charles' music yet where neatly-cut medleys would have kept the story rolling, Hackford indulges himself with near-full-length renditions of too many songs - in gin joints, in the recording studio, in concert halls, infinitum. Narratively, and for non-devotees, they begin to act like a cinematic brake. This may seem like harsh judgement on a music biopic but with a catalogue as extensive as Ray's, we need a taste not the whole dish. Otherwise, we'd buy the albums.Intrigued as I was, I glanced at my watch more than once. So for all Foxx's brilliance, maybe Ray would have been better served as an HBO two-parter?