Ray (film)


Ray (film)

Infobox_Film
name = Ray


caption = "Ray" film poster
director = Taylor Hackford
writer = James L. White
starring = Jamie Foxx
Kerry Washington
Regina King
Larenz Tate
Clifton Powell
C. J. Sanders
Curtis Armstrong
producer = Taylor Hackford
Stuart Benjamin
Howard Baldwin
Karen Baldwin
music = Craig Armstrong
Ray Charles (songs)
cinematography = Paweł Edelman
editing = Paul Hirsch
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = October 19, 2004
running time = 152 min./USA: 178 min. (extended version)
language = English
budget = $40,000,000 (estimated) [ [http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=ray.htm Ray (2004) ] ]
amg_id = 1:287477
imdb_id = 0350258

"Ray" is a 2004 biographical film focusing on thirty years [Director Hackford noted this focus on the years 1935-1965 in his DVD commentary for the film; the only exception to this focus is the film's final scene featuring Julian Bond and set in the Georgia State Capitol in 1979, a scene Hackford included at Charles' specific request.] of the life of legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles.

The independently-produced film was directed by Taylor Hackford and starred Jamie Foxx in the title role; Foxx received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

Charles was set to attend an opening of the completed film, but he passed away before it premiered. [cite web| url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200406/s1129411.htm| title=Legendary US singer Ray Charles dead at 73| publisher=ABC News| date=2004-06-11| accessdate=2008-10-06]

Plot summary

Born in a small town in Georgia, Ray Charles went blind at the age of seven. Inspired by a fiercely independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Charles found his calling and his gift behind a piano keyboard. Touring across the Southern musical circuit, the soulful singer gained a reputation and then exploded with worldwide fame when he pioneered incorporating gospel, country, jazz and orchestral influences into his inimitable style.

As he revolutionized the way people appreciated music, he simultaneously fought segregation in the very clubs that launched him and championed artists’ rights within the corporate music business. The movie provides a portrait of Charles’ musical genius as he overcomes drug addiction while transforming into one of his country’s most beloved performers.

Production

The film's production was entirely financed by Philip Anschutz, through his Bristol Bay Productions company. Taylor Hackford stated in a DVD bonus feature that it took 15 years to make the film. He later clarified in the liner notes of the soundtrack album that it took that time to secure financing.

Charles was given a braille copy of the film's original script; he objected only to a scene showing him taking up piano grudgingly, and a scene implying that Charles had shown mistress and lead "Raelette" Margie Hendricks how to shoot heroin.

"Ray" debuted at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival.

Reception

Box office

"Ray" was released in theatres on October 29, 2004 on a budget of $40 million. The film went on to become a box-office hit, earning $75.3 million in the U.S. with an additional $50 million internationally, bringing its world wide gross to $125 million.

Critical reaction

The film received mostly positive reviews. Most of the praise went to Jamie Foxx's "tour-de-force" performance which made him a favorite for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film however did receive some bad reviews, with critics complaining that the powerful performances were met with a mediocre screenplay. [ [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ray/?page=2 Ray - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ] Currently "Ray" has a certified fresh rating of 82% based on 191 reviews at rottentomatoes.com. [ [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ray Ray - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ]

Awards

Jamie Foxx was nominated for Best Actor for this film and Best Supporting Actor for "Collateral". He is the second actor to have been nominated in both categories in the same year, after Al Pacino. Like Pacino, he won the former, but not the latter.

Won

*77th Academy Awards:
**Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
**Best Sound (Scott Millan, Greg Orloff, Bob Beemer and Steve Cantamessa)
*American Cinema Editors: Best Edited Feature Film - Comedy or Musical (Paul Hirsch)
*58th BAFTA Awards:
**Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
**Best Sound (Scott Millan, Greg Orloff, Bob Beemer and Steve Cantamessa)
*Black Reel Awards: Best Film - Drama, Best Actor - Drama (Jamie Foxx), Best Supporting Actress (Sharon Warren), Best Breakthrough Performance (Sharon Warren), Best Screenplay (James L. White), Best Original Score (Ray Charles and Stephen Altman)
*Boston Society of Film Critics: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx), Best Supporting Actress (Sharon Warren)
*Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx), Best Soundtrack
*Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
*62nd Golden Globe Awards:
**Best Actor - Comedy or Musical (Jamie Foxx)
*Grammy Awards:
**Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (Ray Charles)
**Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (Craig Armstrong)
*Image Awards: Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Jamie Foxx), Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (Kerry Washington), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Regina King)
*Kansas City Film Critics Circle: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
*Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
*London Film Critics Circle: Actor of the Year (Jamie Foxx)
*Motion Picture Sound Editors: Best Sound Editing in Feature Film - Music - Musical (Curt Sobel [music editor] )
*National Board of Review: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
*National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
*Online Film Critics Society: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx), Best Supporting Actress (Sharon Warren)
*Phoenix Film Critics Society: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx), Best Use of Previously Published or Recorded Music
*PRISM Awards: Performance in a Feature Film (Jamie Foxx)
*Satellite Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (Jamie Foxx), Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Comedy or Musical (Regina King), Best Screenplay - Original (James L. White)
*Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Jamie Foxx)
*Seattle Film Critics: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
*Southeastern Film Critics Association: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)
*Vancouver Film Critics Circle: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx)

Nominations

*77th Academy Awards:
**Best Picture
**Best Director (Taylor Hackford)
**Best Editing (Paul Hirsch)
**Best Costume Design (Sharen Davis)
*American Society of Cinematographers: Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases (Paweł Edelman)
*58th BAFTA Awards:
**Best Screenplay - Original (James L. White)
**Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music (Craig Armstrong)
*Black Reel Awards: Best Actress - Drama (Regina King), Best Actress - Drama (Kerry Washington), Best Supporting Actor (Clifton Powell), Best Breakthrough Performance (C.J. Sanders)
*Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Picture , Best Director (Taylor Hackford)
*Casting Society of America: Best Feature Film Casting - Drama (Nancy Klopper and Mark Fincannon [location casting] )
*Cinema Audio Society: Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures (Steve Cantamessa, Scott Millan, Greg Orloff and Bob Beemer)
*Costume Designers Guild: Excellence in Costume Design for Film - Period/Fantasy (Sharen Davis)
*David di Donatello Awards (Italy): Best Foreign Film
*Directors Guild of America: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Taylor Hackford)
*62nd Golden Globe Awards:
**Best Picture - Comedy or Musical
*Golden Trailer Awards: Best Drama
*Image Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Clifton Powell), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (C.J. Sanders), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Sharon Warren)
*MTV Movie Awards: Best Movie, Best Male Performance (Jamie Foxx)
*Motion Picture Sound Editors: Best Sound Editing in Domestic Features - Dialogue & ADR
*Online Film Critics Society: Best Actor (Jamie Foxx), Best Supporting Actress (Sharon Warren)
*Satellite Awards: Best Picture - Comedy or Musical, Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (Kerry Washington), Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Comedy or Musical (Sharon Warren), Best Director (Taylor Hackfor)
*Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (Aunjanue Ellis, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, Regina King, Harry J. Lennix, Clifton Powell, Larenz Tate, Kerry Washington)
*Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie Actor - Drama (Jamie Foxx), Choice Movie Actress - Drama (Kerry Washington)
*Young Artist Awards: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor (C.J. Sanders)

Cast

* Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles - As stated in the DVD commentary, the actor does not sing as Ray Charles with exception to covers Charles performs in his earlier years. Kanye West and Ludacris have since both made songs with Jamie Foxx singing as Ray Charles in their songs "Gold Digger" and "Georgia", respectively.
* Sharon Warren as his mother, Aretha Williams
* Kerry Washington as his wife, Della Bea Robinson
* Regina King as Margie Hendricks
* Renee Wilson as Pat Lyle
* Larenz Tate as Quincy Jones
* Harry Lennix as Joe Adams
* Clifton Powell as Jeff Brown
* Curtis Armstrong as Ahmet Ertegün
* Richard Schiff as Jerry Wexler
* Patrick Bauchau as Dr. Hacker
* Terrence Dashon Howard as Gossie McKee
* Chris Thomas King as Lowell Fulson
* Wendell Pierce as Wilbur Brassfield
* Bokeem Woodbine as David "Fathead" Newman
* Aunjanue Ellis as Mary Ann Fisher
* C. J. Sanders as Young Ray Robinson
* Denise Dowse as Marlene Andres
* Warwick Davis as Oberon
* David Krumholtz as Milt Shaw

Songs used in the film

* "Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand"
* "Mess Around"
* "I Got a Woman"
* "Hallelujah, I Love Her So"
* "Drown in My Own Tears"
* "Mary Ann"
* "Leave My Woman Alone"
* "Night Time Is the Right Time"
* "I Believe To My Soul"
* "What'd I Say"
* "Georgia on My Mind"
* "Hit the Road Jack"
* "Unchain My Heart"
* "You Don't Know Me"
* "I Can't Stop Loving You"
* "Bye Bye Love"
* "Born to Lose"
* "Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)"
* "Bacon Deserves More Attention"
* "King of the Night Time World"
* "Everytime I Have the Blues"

Differences from noted events

As noted in the film's final credits, "Ray" is based on true events, but includes some characters, names, locations, and events which have been changed and others which have been "fictionalized for dramatization purposes." Examples of the fictionalized scenes include:

* In the film, when Ray's younger brother George drowns in their mother's wash tub, he stands there and does nothing as George drowns. In his autobiography, Ray remembers trying to pull his brother out of the tub after realizing he was drowning but was unable to save him.
* In the film, Ray Charles is banned in the state of Georgia for not playing at Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Georgia; he refused to play in protest against segregated seating required by Jim Crow laws. In reality, Ray refused to play there after receiving a telegram from angry black college youth who begged him not to do so; Charles ended up having to pay compensation.Fact|date=February 2007 Notably, it is an angry black college youth, among protestors outside the Bell Auditorium, who convinces Ray in the film.
* In the last scene, which is at the Georgia State Capitol in 1979, a representative declares that "Georgia on My Mind" is Georgia's official state song and also makes a "public apology" for "banning" Charles. As already noted, no such ban occurred.
* In the studio scene where Ray is taught the "Mess Around," he is told it's in the "Key of G." The "Mess Around" is actually in the key of E flat.

References

External links

* [http://www.raymovie.com/ Ray Official website]
*
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7913-2004Oct28.html Taylor Hackford's Unchained Art] , an October 2004 article from the "Washington Post"
* [http://www.craigarmstrongonline.com/film_score/ray.htm Craig Armstrong (Score Composer for "Ray")]
* [http://www.slate.com/Default.aspx?id=2108507 It's a shame about Ray] a review at Slate Magazine that lists factual inaccuracies
* [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6596222/hit_the_road_jack Background on the song Hit The Road Jack]


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