starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King, Clifton Powell
screenplay by James L. White
directed by Taylor Hackford
by Walter Chaw Jamie Foxx is so mesmerizing as Ray Charles in Ray, Taylor Hackford's biopic of the legendary performer, that the typical Hackford-isms threatening to weigh down the piece don't seem as heavy as they usually do. At its heart, the film is really just another faux epic from Hackford: another glimpse at the rise and fall (and rise) of a uniquely American persona (Everybody's All-American, An Officer and a Gentleman), another recent-historical essay, and another picture that begins to feel a little repetitive in the hermetic rises and falls in action that comprise such things. But then there's Foxx. He's the real deal, I think, and between this and Michael Mann's Collateral, 2004 is the year that Foxx becomes a top of the line, bona fide superstar. He's going to win the Oscar in a couple of months--and as the third African-American to claim the Best Actor prize, he's going to deserve it more than Denzel Washington did for Training Day.