We got the movie Ray for Christmas, and we finally sat down to watch it on Sunday night. I loved it. Jamie Foxx is fantastic – I understand that Ray Charles approved him, before he died, which is cool. (It was weird to hear him sing a Ray Charles song and realise that it was the bit that he, Jamie Foxx, sang in a Kanye West song that I know I should dislike and… just… cant’t.) Most of the other actors were also really good – and it wasn’t half weird to realise that the dude who didn’t look all that old and actually had hair was, indeed, Toby (or Richard Schiff (West Wing) if you want to be pedantic).
It was a lot like Walk the Line, which I guess is unsurprising: they were two of the biggest stars of the latter half of the 20th century, and they both had drug habits that they managed to kick. The difference being that Charles’ wife stuck by him, and vice versa, whereas of course the big thing in Walk the Line is the love affair with June Carter. J thought they spent an awful lot of time on the heroin issue, and then it just ends – fft. I don’t think it spend too long on the drugs, although it was a significant portion of the movie – I think it jut reflects the reality of the situation – but, again like Walk the Line – it does end abruptly, too abruptly for me. Having seen him be a bastard to his family and lots of other people, I would have liked to see him in middle and later life: did he make it up to his family, or did he continue womanising? (He had 12 children, apparently, so….) I was left feeling like he was a great singer, and not that great a person, and I’m not sure how that’s how the director and producer wanted it. I did like, though, that it showed how the drug habit affected those around him, and how people reacted, rather than solely looking at its effect on him.
The other thing that I appreciated about this film was how they did the flashbacks. I thought it was very clever – and a lot more interesting than having a whole section on his childhood would have been.
Absolutely recommended if you like his music!