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Jamie Foxx's uncannily accurate performance isn't the only good thing about Ray. Riding high on a wave of Oscar buzz, Foxx proved himself worthy of all the hype by portraying blind R&B legend Ray Charles in a warts-and-all performance that Charles approved shortly before his death in June 2004. Despite a few dramatic embellishments of actual incidents (such as the suggestion that the accidental drowning of Charles's younger brother caused all the inner demons that Charles would battle into adulthood), the film does a remarkable job of summarizing Charles's strengths as a musical innovator and his weaknesses as a philandering heroin addict who recorded some of his best songs while flying high as a kite. Foxx seems to be channeling Charles himself, and as he did with the life of Ritchie Valens in La Bamba, director Taylor Hackford gets most of the period details absolutely right as he chronicles Ray's rise from "chitlin circuit" performer in the early '50s to his much-deserved elevation to legendary status as one of the all-time great musicians. Foxx expertly lip-syncs to Ray Charles' classic recordings, but you could swear he's the real deal in a film that honors Ray Charles without sanitizing his once-messy life.
The movie Ray is a lasting testimony and tribute to both the musical excellence and the character flaws of Ray Charles! With certainty this was a testimony to the humanity of all of us. No matter who we are, we all have skills that can propel us to greatness but can also place us in jeopardy. What I really loved was that this was not some cushy and fluffy depiction of a great man and musical icon. It showed that despite extreme poverty, physical disabilities, deplorable conditions of the times we live in, Ray made his dreams come true and so can we! I am guilty, as many of us, of seeing only one side of this musical genius! I have learned so much about the man. Some of it was shocking and some of it was so amazing that at the end of the movie I was wanting to know more about Mr Charles. As for Jamie Foxx's portrayal of Ray Charles, it was gripping, amazing, and inspiring! It is well known the Jamie Fox is a extremely talented comedian. Yet, of all his acting projects; Miami Vice, The Player's Club, etc..., his performance as Ray Charles catapults his into the mega star realm of Denzel Washington, Robert Redford, Al Pacino, Billy D Williams, etc... At times it was so difficult to determine was it Ray or Jamie singing that it was both frustrating and amazing. Twenty-five thumbs up to all who were involved with the making of this classic.
In my opinion, this was the best movie of 2004. Jamie Foxx plays Ray Charles in Ray - the story of Ray Charles maturation and struggles as a R&B and Soul singer during 1935 and 1967. There are three outstanding aspects to Ray:
1) The music is outstanding. Regardless of your affinity towards Ray Charles - the quality of the music and sound in Ray is flawless. Hearing Sweet Georgia for the first time in the film is moving. The music is the thread that connects much of the film and the dialouge... and its done perfectly.
2) Jamie Foxx plays Ray Charles flawlessly. He has the voice, the style, and quirks down... and thats why he won the Academy Award for the performance.
3) The visuals - from the colors to the filming, Ray is a visual masterpiece.
I rate it excellent because the movie arrived sealed and in perfect conditions. The movie includes 2 discs, one with the movie and the other with the bonus features. The bonus features include: 14 deleted seen, complete uncut music performances form the movie, stepping into the part (a revealing look at Jamie Foxx's incredible transformation into Ray Charles), Ray remembered, and feature commentary with director. I really like Ray Charles songs so I wanted to have the movie, and Jamie's performance is unbelievable.
I LOVE this film. Even after watching it tons and tons of times I still am amazed by Jamie Foxx's performance. It's an powerful life story, and Ray Charles was an inspiring man. The movie is filled with some of the best music ever recorded, it is a pleasure to watch and the music is a pleasure to listen to. For any musician or Jazz fan this is a movie for you! Watch the life story of the Genius!