Gone but not forgotten

Oct 312004
Authors: Ryan Skeels

This could be a career-changing role for Jaime Foxx, as he

perfectly portrays music legend Ray Charles. The movie opens with

Foxx waiting at a bus stop in northern Florida and travels with him

to Seattle for his first club gig. Through a series of flashbacks

and flash-forwards, the story of Ray’s life is told. Director

Taylor Hackford shows the audience various scenes of Ray’s

childhood, from witnessing his brother’s death at age 5 to the

onset of his blindness and how he learned to cope with the loss.

The film is put together very well, and his life on and off the

stage seem to be straightforward and sugarcoated very little, if at

all. The movie portrays Ray on stage as the amazing musician that

he was – very genuine and responsive to the crowd’s energy. The

movie also reveals his darker sides as a heroine addict, womanizer

and as someone who’s ego grows along with his career.

Kerry Washington does an amazing portrayal of Della Bea, Ray’s

wife, who puts up with his addiction to drugs and women on the road

but is very strong-willed about keeping it out of her house. The

movie has a running time of just more than two and a half hours and

the ending is pretty abrupt, making it feel like Hackford simply

ran out of gas.

To grasp the character, Foxx spent a good amount of time with

the late Charles, who apparently opened up completely, leaving his

life out on the table. Foxx soaked it up and nails the part,

recreating Charles’ mannerisms and movements to a tee. Charles did

get a chance to see a rough cut of the film before he passed away

and was very pleased with what he saw. “Ray” is a great movie and

Foxx is incredible to see, a surefire nominee for best actor in the

Academy Awards. This movie is an emotional tribute to a man who

brought genre-busting music to a worldwide audience, creating

smiles on the faces of anyone who cared to listen.

Three and a half out of four rams

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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