film

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Ray (2004)

Director:
Taylor Hackford
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama/Biography/Music
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Ray
RUNNING TIME
152 minutes
Producer:
Howard Baldwin
Karen Elise Baldwin
Stuart Benjamin
Taylor Hackford
Screenwriter:
James L. White


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Ray Charles Jamie Foxx
Della Bea Robinson Kerry Washington
Margie Hendricks Regina King
Jeff Brown Clifton Powell
Joe Adams Harry Lennix
Fathead Newman Bokeem Woodbine
Mary Ann Fisher Aunjaune Ellis
Aretha Robinson Sharon Warren
Young Ray Robinson C. J. Sanders
Jerry Wexler Richard Schiff
Quincy Jones Larenz Tate
Gossie McKee Terrence Dashon Howard

 

Review

Taylor Hackford's biopic on the highly eventful life of the legendary Ray Charles is by no means neither the most pinpointed nor the most ground-breaking biography in recent years. It is at times somewhat ill-focused, burying itself in financial issues and becoming what borders on obsessed with Charles' drug addiction. These, and a few segments in which Hackford opts for cheap solutions (don't you think it's time someone redefined that 'getting out of your drug addiction'-montage?) contribute to making Ray an unnecessary winding experience.  

Still, the weight of the material, the fantastic music, the film's meticulous attention to detail and, last but not least, Jamie Foxx' magnificent performance in the lead adds up to enough to acknowledge this as a remarkable film. There's no denying that this reviewer is a sucker for biopics (another fine one this year was The Aviator on Howard Hughes), but there's also no denying that Taylor Hackford has put almost half a lifetime of work into this, and that passion shines through. Although Hackford's talent has come to its right more clearly in the past (notably with Dolores Claiborne), Ray will forever stand as one of his finest and most important films.

Copyright 20.7.2005 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang [HAVE YOUR SAY]