Sono rimasto piacevolmente sorpreso da Ray; mi aspettavo una biografia celebrativa del personaggio, ed invece si tratta di un ritratto molto duro di Ray Charles come persona, insistendo in particolare sui suoi rapporti con la droga ed il sesso.
Come ovvio la parte musicale è grandiosa; la regia discreta ma senza particolari guizzi, buone le interpretazioni (eccezionale la giovane madre).
Forse è stato un po' sopravvalutato da critica e pubblico, anche in virtù della uscita a ridosso della sua morte, ma resta una buona biografia di un grandissimo della musica.
Charles, Ray (I)
Nome di battesimo: Robinson, Ray Charles
Data di nascita: 23 September 1930
Data di morte: 10 June 2004
Altezza: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Coniuge: Della Beatrice Howard::(5 April 1955 - 1977) (divorced) 3 children, Eileen Williams::(31 July 1951 - 1952) (divorced)
- "Celebridade" (2003) .... [misc]
- My House in Umbria (2003) (TV) .... (singer: "If I Give You My Love") [misc]
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) .... (singer: "Lonely Avenue") [misc]
- Showtime (2002) .... (singer: "What'd I Say") [misc]
- Metoroporisu (2001) .... (singer: "I Can't Stop Loving You") [misc]
- Blue's Big Musical Movie (2000) (V) .... G-Clef (voice) [attore]
- The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave (2000) (V) .... Ray Charles [attore]
- Eve's Bayou (1997) .... (singer: "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying") [misc]
- Bound (1996) .... (singer: "Hallelujah I Love Her So") [misc]
- Spy Hard (1996) .... Bus Driver [attore]
Maybe or maybe not, a tragic fate may have given this visionary a heightened sensitivity, perception, awareness, even expansion to his obvious musical gifts that he may have never touched upon had he not suffered from his physical affliction. Whatever it was, Ray Charles revolutionized American music and was catapulted to legendary status by the time he died in Beverly Hills at age 73. Born to Aretha and Baily Robinson, Ray came from an impoverished Albany, Georgia family who moved to Greenville, Florida while he was still an infant. It was not a cause for joy and celebration. His father soon abandoned the family and his baby brother, George Robinson, drowned in a freak washtub accident. Ray himself developed glaucoma at the age of 5 and within two years had lost his sight completely. A boy singer in a Baptist choir, he developed a love and feel for rhythms and studied music at the State School for Deaf and Blind Children, showing an earnest talent and ear for playing various instruments, including the piano and clarinet. An orphan by his early teens, Ray joined a country band at age 16 called The Florida Playboys. He moved to Seattle in 1948 where he and Southern guitarist Gossady McGee formed the McSon Trio. With an emphasis on easy-styled jazz, Ray also played in bebop sessions on the sly. He departed from the McSon Trio and signed with Los Angeles-based Swing Time Records, becoming the pianist for rhythm and blues great Lowell Fulson and his Band. Atlantic Records eventually picked him up. Along the road he would add composer, writer and arranger to his formidable list of talents.Ray's first R hit was "Confession Blues" in Los Angeles in 1949. In 1951 he had his first solo chart buster with "Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand." His amazing versatility and raw, soulful delivery caught on with audiences quickly and helped put Atlantic on the map. Hits like "Mess Around," "Things I Used to Do," "A Fool for You," "I've Got a Woman," "Drown in My Own Tears" and especially "What'd I Say" in 1959 pushed gospel and R to a wider crossover audience. He made an unheard of move into the country music arena in the 1960s doing soulful spins on Hank Williams and Eddy Arnold tunes. In 1960, he left Atlantic and signed with ABC-Paramount. Under ABC-Paramount, hits poured out during this peak time with "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Hit the Road Jack," "Busted" and his beloved signature song "Georgia On My Mind."His landmark 1962 album "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" brought a new swinging style to country music. From there he traveled a mainstream route -- from interpreting Beatles' songs ("Eleanor Rigby") to appearing on "Diet Pepsi" ads ("You Got the Right One, Baby, Uh-huh!"). He also showed up sporadically in films, playing himself in the movie _Ballad in Blue (1966)_ [aka "Blues for Lovers"] and guest starring in The Blues Brothers (1980) with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. A TV musical variety favorite with his trademark dark glasses and dry humor, he worked alongside other illumines such as Ella Fitzgerald and Barbra Streisand on their very special evenings of song.It is hard to believe with everything he accomplished, Ray also had to deal with a longstanding heroin problem. In the mid-60s he was arrested for possession of heroin and marijuana and revealed that he'd been addicted for nearly two decades. By 1965 he had completely recovered. The man who lived life on the edge was divorced twice and had 12 children both in and outside his marriages. At the time of his death from liver disease in 2004, he was working on a recording project of duets with such performers as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Elton John and Norah Jones. This collaboration entitled "Genius Loves Company" led to an incisive win at the Grammy awards--8 posthumous trophies including "Album of the Year" and "Record of the Year."
Trivia random: He inspired many blind musicians to pursue careers such as Ronnie Milsap and Terri Gibbs.
Citazione random: "I never considered myself part of rock 'n' roll. My stuff was more adult. It was more difficult for teenagers to relate to; my stuff was filled with more despair than anything you'd associate with rock 'n' roll. Since I couldn't see people dancing, I didn't write jitterbugs or twists. I wrote rhythms that moved me. My style required pure heart singing."
Regista: Taylor Hackford
Scrittore: Taylor Hackford, James L. White
Genere: Biography, Drama, Music
Valutazione: 7.9/10 (15356 voti)
Durata: 152 min
- Jamie Foxx .... Ray Charles
- Kerry Washington .... Della Bea Robinson
- Regina King .... Margie Hendricks
- Clifton Powell .... Jeff Brown
- Harry J. Lennix .... Joe Adams (as Harry Lennix)
- Bokeem Woodbine .... Fathead Newman
- Aunjanue Ellis .... Mary Ann Fisher
- Sharon Warren .... Aretha Robinson
- C.J. Sanders .... Young Ray Robinson
- Curtis Armstrong .... Ahmet Ertegun
Soul singer Ray Charles' life transpires on-screen, from his humble beginnings in Georgia, where he went blind at the age of seven, to his pre-fame life touring the South, and on to his career as one of the most enduring, inimitable performers in modern music.
Trivia random: Director Taylor Hackford secured the rights to Ray Charles's life story in 1987 but couldn't find a studio to finance the film.