Rating: Active Eruption
When I heard that Jamie Foxx spent weeks trying to learn how to be blind for this role, I knew that this film was going to be something special. Jamie is spectacular as Ray Charles. He captured the man’s personality, character, growth, and best of all, his music. The film hardly seems like a musical, because the songs are so tightly integrated with the story line, and there are no interruptions along the way. The music is fabulous, and whether people were Ray Charles fans or not, they will be after seeing this movie. I learned a lot about music history as well as the struggles of those in the music business, let alone someone who had the odds stacked against him because of skin color.
Ray’s issues with family and women are portrayed with candor. His wife, Della Bea (Kerry Washington) is captivating as we watch her grow up and become the devoted and supportive wife despite Ray’s serious womanizing and drug problems. One of Ray’s “other women” is Maggie (Regina King), a backup singer who travels with him on the road and is loyal, up to a point. His heroin addiction and treatment is also addressed, and how he overcomes it to save his marriage, career, and family. All of that in one movie. Absolutely a tour de force. Bravo!