Ray

Ray

Taylor Hackford (2004)

146min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll (or, in Ray Charles's case, soul, gospel, blues and even a little bit of country) are the basic ingredients for a biopic of just about any popular singer from the last 50 years or so. Childhood poverty and tragedy are standard extras, and racial prejudice is not unfamiliar territory. Throw in blindness and you are in danger of producing an indigestible mixture of cliché and sentimentality. Taylor Hackford's movie avoids that trap, beginning with the 17-year-old Ray setting out in search of fame and fortune and ending with him established as one of America's most successful entertainers. Flashbacks fill in the gaps. Charles emerges as a hugely original talent (his recordings are used throughout the film) and a sympathetic human being, despite his heroin addiction and serial adultery. This is thanks to the assured script and direction, and to star Jamie Foxx - his Ray is not just an uncanny impersonation, but a great performance.

Summary

Biopic of soul singer Ray Charles, exploring his battle against racial bigotry, drug addiction and personal demons on his rise to stardom. Blind by the time he was seven, the musician flirted with several styles including gospel, jazz and country, and became known as one of the music industry's most innovative performers. Starring an Oscar-winning Jamie Foxx alongside Regina King and Kerry Washington.

Cast & Crew

Ray Charles Jamie Foxx
Margie Hendricks Regina King
Della Bea Robinson Kerry Washington
Jeff Brown Clifton Powell
Fathead Newman Bokeem Woodbine
Joe Adams Harry Lennix
Mary Ann Fisher Aunjanue Ellis
Aretha Robinson Sharon Warren
Young Ray Robinson CJ Sanders
Ahmet Ertegun Curtis Armstrong
Jerry Wexler Richard Schiff
Quincy Jones Larenz Tate
Director Taylor Hackford
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UIPGuidance: May be edited for language, violence and drug abuse.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama