Ray (2004) (mini-review++)


(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

The mini-review:


acting 8

directing 7

writing 7

effects 7

editing 7

SW score: 36

3.5 out of 5 octopi

++ The Hollywood biopic (sub-genre: musician) is a classic formula. You all know it: start from humble origins, ignored by industry experts, gets a small break, takes advantage of the break, gets famous, bad shit happens, musician digs deep and recovers. Sometimes, as with Jamie Foxx, the actor portraying the musician has some musical talent. This is rare. So that’s cool. And who doesn’t love Ray Charles? Great voice, great songs, great piano player, and he’s blind, too?! He was Stevie Wonder before Stevie Wonder. But I am middle-aged so maybe there are lots of people who don’t necessarily dislike Ray Charles but they just don’t know who he is. Fair enough. Foxx won the best actor award for his portrayal so I don’t need to tell you his performance was excellent. On top of the already compelling story of a man overcoming a serious physical challenge, the movie also, but not excessively, notes the toxic Jim Crow south environment that was constructed to discourage, disenfranchise, and destroy black people. All that said, this isn’t a movie I am really drawn to see again. Maybe it’s the tired formula. Or maybe I’m just not a huge fan of biopics. Or more specifically, of biopics of musicians. But that’s not it. I loved Amadeus. I loved Straight Outta Compton. I dunno.




(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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