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Ray

  • Drama
  • Music
  • 2004
  • Taylor Hackford
  • 146 mins
  • 15

Summary

Oscar-winning biographical drama about music legend Ray Charles, starring Jamie Foxx. A poor black boy overcomes racial prejudice, blindness and drug addiction to become one of America's most revered and adored 20th-century singer-songwriters.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

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 for which he received the best actor Oscar.

Credits

Cast

rolename
Ray CharlesJamie Foxx
Della Bea RobinsonKerry Washington
Margie HendricksRegina King
Jeff BrownClifton Powell
Mary Ann FisherAunjanue Ellis
Joe AdamsHarry Lennix
Gossie McKeeTerrence Howard
Quincy JonesLarenz Tate
Fathead NewmanBokeem Woodbine
Aretha RobinsonSharon Warren

Crew

rolename
DirectorTaylor Hackford

Details

Theatrical distributor
UIP
Released on
2005-01-21
Languages
English
Guidance
May be edited for language, violence and drug abuse.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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