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HomeNewsArchivesJamie Foxx Astounding as Ray Charles in 'Ray'

Jamie Foxx Astounding as Ray Charles in 'Ray'

Oct. 26, 2004 – Run, do not walk, to see "Ray," the new film starring Jamie Foxx as the legendary Ray Charles.
Critics aren't just buzzing about this film – they are plainly predicting Foxx will win the Academy Award for a performance so strong it's been said he "channels" the spirit of Charles.
"Jamie Foxx gets so far inside the man and his music that he and Ray Charles seem to breathe as one," is how Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone put it.
Foxx has come a long way since "Booty Call" (1997), but I'm not sure anyone could have predicted or even imagined this performance, which is being hailed as "mesmerizing" and "charismatic." That's Charles' voice you'll be hearing during the song segments, but Foxx moves seamlessly between the music and the drama.
There's plenty of both. There been a little criticism of the film's length – two-and-a-half hours, but the time is packed with a moving story about a kid coming from about as tough a background as you can imagine (seeing his brother drown at 5, going blind at 7), through his musical development, heroin addiction, marriage and numerous affairs. Woven in are all the fabulous Ray Charles songs you know by heart.
The film's director, Taylor Hackford, reportedly spent 15 years developing the story with Charles himself (who died earlier this year). Hackford also directed "Dolores Claiborne" (1995), a personal favorite, as well as "The Devil's Advocate" (1997) and "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982). "Ray" is by no means his first venture into music: he produced "La Bamba," the 1999 film starring Lou Diamond Phillips as Richie Valens, and he directed the acclaimed musical biography of Chuck Berry, "Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll" (1987).
Running time: 152 minutes.
Rated PG-13.
Click here to check schedule.

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