|Reviewed on 2004-11-02|
|Received||[3.5] out of 4 stars|
|Genre||Drama / Music|
| Jamie Fox is electrifying as Ray Charles in Ray that has Oscar written all over it. I gained a new appreciation for Jamie Fox and Ray Charles wonderful music.
Director Taylor Hackford has tried for 15 years to bring Ray Charles' story to the big screen. The audience is treated to a wide variety of his music from early days to current times. Jamie Fox lip synced to actual recordings by Ray and had his mannerisms down pat. The 2-1/2 hour movie went by quickly leaving me wanting more.
The film followed Ray's career with flashbacks filling in the early days. We live through his blindness at the tender age of 7, personal tragedies, his fight with drugs, his innovations in music, his family life, and his shrewd business deals. He seemed to have no problem living two lives, a devoted husband at home and entertaining many woman lovers on the road.
C. J. Sanders does a great job as young Ray and Sharon Warren is good playing Ray's single mother who is both loving and stern with him. These early flashback scenes of his childhood in Depression era Florida are excellent.
There are many great acting jobs with many cast members who touch Ray's life. But the music is the real star with examples of his evolving style from Nat King Cole sound-a-like songs to his own distinctive style in several venues including Country, Rock, Soul and Jazz. It just makes me want to go out and buy some of his albums.