Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


Ray

Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: TAYLOR HACKFORD
Produced by: TAYLOR HACKFORD, STUART BENJAMIN, HOWARD BALDWIN, KAREN BALDWIN
Starring: JAMIE FOXX, REGINA KING, KERRY WASHINGTON, CLIFTON POWELL, AUNJANUE ELLIS, HARRY LENNIX, TERRENCE DASHON HOWARD, LARENZ TATE, RICHARD SCHIFF, CURTIS ARMSTRONG
Released by:
Universal

In Short: A truly remarkable peek at the man behind the shades, “Ray” is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest musicians of our time.

Blinding Performance
Foxx Opens our Eyes to Charles' Genius
By Cherie Saunders

Jamie Foxx catapults into early Oscar contention as the legendary “Genius of Soul” Ray Charles. The first-ever biopic of the singer jumps back and forth in time between his impoverished childhood in Florida during the 1930s and his meteoric rise to fame.

Blind and practically penniless, a teenaged Ray boards a Florida bus at the outset of the film and travels to Seattle with hopes of becoming a singing piano player. He lands a deal with Swingtime Records and hits the club circuit as the next Nat King Cole. He and his band members—jazz guitarist Gossie McKee (Terrence Dashon Howard), sax player David “Fathead” Newman and his early musical partner and road manager Jeff Brown (Clifton Powell)—become a tight-knit group on-stage and off before Atlantic Records signs Ray in the 1950s. Experimenting with heroin for the first time, the maestro soon begins a downward spiral that alienates those closest to him, including his devoted wife, Della (Kerry Washington).

Director Taylor Hackford (“Dolores Claiborne,” “An Officer and a Gentleman”) shepherds fine-tuned performances in a story as captivating as Brother Ray’s artistry. Foxx’s blinding talent is matched by an equally powerful performance from Regina King as Charles’ backup singer—and “other woman”—Margie Hendricks. Shown in flashbacks is Ray’s gradual loss of vision to glaucoma at age five, shortly after he witnessed the drowning death of his brother. A truly remarkable peek at the man behind the shades, “Ray” is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest musicians of our time.


Shopping for a die-hard beauty junkie? From anti-aging retinoid pads to a paraffin bath set, the products on GAYOT's list are worthy of any spa.

From the classic vaudeville of the Marx Brothers to the outrageous antics of Will Ferrell's Frat Pack, these films never fail to leave us laughing out loud.