Per IMDb: “The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.”
Jamie Foxx plays Ray Charles Robinson from his earliest performance days trying to get to work in Seattle on. The film also follows Ray’s involvement with Quincy Jones, signing to Atlantic Records, meeting his wife, children, the advancement of his career and life on the road. The dark side is the drug addiction, womanizing, rock and roll lifestyle, the drug
busts and arrests and the darkness that Ray wandered through. How much of this portrayal is true is debated, not necessarily the events themselves, as there’s plenty of documentation to substantiate the evidence, but the accuracy of how.
Jaime Foxx’s portrayal of Ray Charles was believable, other than sometimes there was a bit of overacting when it comes to the dialog. And, in some instances he sang Ray’s parts. Most of it was just right, at least from what I know about Ray Charles and I’ll admit there isn’t a lot that I know about him. The rest of the cast were great at their parts, including the usually greasy Curtis Armstrong playing a bald, slick Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records.
I think they front loaded that film with a lot of information and then let the last 40 years of his life be. To me, it seemed like it made his time becoming clean and sober less interesting and I find that almost insulting to Mr. Charles; like saying he was no longer newsworthy. They were thorough for the first two and a half hours with the early days, I suppose it would have been another two and a half to cover the later days. I think they could have cut down some of the front and added some to the back, but, oh well.
This film was one of the 400 nominees for AFI‘s 100 Years… 100 Movies list. That’s why I watched it. It’s only available on Netflix‘s DVD.com and not on streaming. You can also rent it digitally on Amazon Prime. It’s not free. I have owned the DVD since it came out but had never seen it until this.
Rotten Tomatoes has it rated at 81% Fresh with an Audience Score of 87%. IMDb has it at 7.7 stars out of 10. The film won Foxx a Best Acting Oscar and the film won for Best Sound Mixing. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing and Best Costume Design. Do I think it was “best of all time” material and deserved to be on this list? Not really, but it was a good watch. I rate it 3.75 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? Do you agree? Let me know what you’d like to see or hear me review.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Scratch a lie. Find a thief.” – Ray Charles (according to the film)