If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery than Foxx (who did win an Oscar) has it all covered for his depiction of the legendary Ray Charles in an extended biography that covers 1930 to 1966. This detailed, colorful, and straightforward retelling starts with young Ray Charles Robinson being sent away to better himself at a school for the blind. Ray finds musical success in the Seattle jazz scene but also gets firsthand knowledge of the dark side of the biz. While touring, he picks up a 20-year heroin habit and an equally destructive addiction to women, although it's supportive wife Della Bea (Washington) who encourages Ray to develop his own style, a heady fusion of gospel and R&B. Hackford doesn't skimp on Ray's charms or faults and finds a workable balance between showcasing the musician's professional and personal lives. Foxx auditioned for Charles, who gave his approval for what became Foxx's breakout performance.
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Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 152 minutes.
Originally from United States.
Oscars 2004: Actor (Foxx), Sound; British Acad. 2004: Actor (Foxx), Sound; Golden Globes 2005: Actor--Mus./Comedy (Foxx); Screen Actors Guild 2004: Actor (Foxx).
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