Monday, September 14, 2009

Ray (2004 Universal)

Somtimes when I watch Ray I totally forget that actor Jamie Foxx is playing Ray Charles and not actually THE Ray Charles. The only time I can recall a similar feeling is when George C. Scott portrayed Patton.

I like watching movies where the underdog makes it...especially when they're true! I love it when the hero fights government and brings it crumbling to their knees. The hero, like all, makes mistakes along the way, but also finds that his friends, his courage and his faith will prevail...not government charity. The story of the late great singer Ray Charles is such a triumph. His humble beginnings to super stardom is one incredible ride and almost unbelievable! Ray is proudly the Movie of the Week!

Ray Charles has the distinction of being both a national treasure and an international phenomenon. By the early 1960's Ray Charles had accomplished his dream. He'd come of age musically. He'd made it to Carnegie Hall. The hit records "Georgia," "Born to Lose" successively kept climbing to the top of the charts. He'd made his first triumphant European concert tour in 1960 (a feat which, except for 1965, he's repeated at least once a year ever since). He had taken virtually every form of popular music and broken through its boundaries with such awe inspiring achievements as the LP's "Genius Plus Soul Equals Jazz" and "Modern Sounds in Country & Western." Rhythm & blues (or "race music" as it had been called) became universally respectable through his efforts. Jazz found a mainstream audience it had never previously enjoyed. And country & western music began to chart an unexpected course to general acceptance, then worldwide popularity. And along the way Ray Charles was instrumental in the invention of rock & roll.

Born in a poor African American town in central Florida, Ray Charles went blind at the age of 7. With the staunch support of his determined single mother, he developed the fierce resolve, wit and incredible talent that would eventually enable him to overcome not only Jim Crow Racism and the cruel prejudices against the blind, but also discover his own sound which revolutionized American popular music.

Nonetheless, as Ray's unprecedented fame grew, so did his weakness for drugs and women, until they threatened to strip away the very things he held most dear. This little known story of Ray Charles' meteoric rise from humble beginnings, his successful struggle to excel in a sighted world and his eventual defeat of his own personal demons make for an inspiring and unforgettable true story of human triumph.

Couldn't find any trailers (in English) but I did find this I think fits my blog perfectly!


Anonymous said...

What an unbelievable sountrack! I loved this movie. He overcame many obstacles, some internal, some external.

ASM826 said...

I know that feeling about Patton. When you see a picture of Gen. Patton, you know it's him, but if someone starts talking about Patton, your mind conjures up George C. Scott.