Monday, August 01, 2005

DVD - Ray

3.5 / 5

This film felt a bit too long and unfocused. I kept wondering what it was building towards. Still, you get to learn a lot about the man that you may not have known. The acting was fine, all around. Sharon Warren plays Ray's mother, someone who seems really cruel but who forces him to find his own way. She tells him that she'll show him something twice, but the third time, he's on his own. This is what she says to a young, pre-pubescent boy, on the verge of blindness. Witness the scene where the blind young Ray trips and falls in the house and cries out over and over for his mother. Meanwhile, she is standing right there, in silence, not making a sound and not doing anything to comfort him. The tough talk served him well. Until he became a junkie.

Kerry Washington

His wife, played by the beautiful Kerry Washington, stood by him as he cheated on her and got in trouble for possessing drugs. She constantly berated him to stop the drugs, yet kept the family going.

It was interesting to watch him demand more from his record label. He ultimately left them when they couldn't match a better offer. It was also nice to see him meet a young Quincy Jones, and Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, the two Atlantic Records executives who encouraged him to find his own sound, rather than just imitate others. David "Fathead" Newman, is shown in Ray's band from the begining. He played the Jazz Wpg festival years ago.

You see the glory, and the scummy side of him. The film should have been just a bit more focused, and not as long. It covered the first 34 years of his life and flashed by the next 40. Jamie Foxx earned all the accolades that he received for Ray, including the Oscar for Best Actor.

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