Sunday, November 14, 2004

Ray (IMDB) (Netflix)
The Ray Charles bio-pic, starring Jamie Foxx as the entertainer who once got banned from playing the state of Georgia, then was later honored by having "Georgia on My Mind" selected as its anthem. Although this project had the full cooperation of the recently late Mr. Charles, it doesn't gloss over the drugs, the women and the paranoia that were a big part of his life.

And picking Jamie Foxx to play him was a coup—this guy studied piano at Julliard and is a gifted mimic—you realize that his talent has been under-exploited through most of his acting career. Many biographies do a poor job of explaining why people are they way they are, but here we bounce back and forth between the adult Charles and the little boy growing up with a sharecropper mother, which makes the connections very clear (almost too clear). The themes mentioned above get a little repetitive and tip more to the cliche than the archetype, but then again, this was one of those people who created those cliches.