Posted: Mar 8, 2005 3:08 pm
Seriously. This movie fucking sucked. The people who told me it was good need to have the shit smacked out of them. The only thing that saved this shitpile from going straight to TBS was the fact that Ray Charles died during post-production. You think I'm kidding? Trivia: No studio was interested in backing the film. The film was then shot independently and once it was completed, Universal stepped in to distribute it. That's from imdb.com.
To be fair, Jamie Foxx was great and so was most of the cast. But the screenplay was a hackneyed piece of shit, and by the time the movie was over I wished I was blind and strung out on heroin too. I actually had dreams last night in which I was cursing this movie. I absolutely cannot believe that it was nominated for best picture. It sickens me.
The story is basically a third rate Biography Channel plot wrapped around a shitty Toni Morrison novel. The chronology is centered around melodramatic, seemingly fictional sequences of events. In the first 5 minutes, he is called a "nigger" by an old southerner, meets Quincy Jones the second he steps off a bus in Seattle, gets an impromptu chance to play piano in a nightclub after the regular entertainment doesn't show, he smokes marijuana for the first time, and gets exploited by a greedy manager. The sequences continue to unfold in a very unbelievable and sappy fashion. At one point, a fight with his lover dramatically unfolds, in real time, into the writing/performance of "Hit the Road Jack."
And between these semi-true adaptations of Charles' life come the flashback sequences, in which Ray remembers his days growing up as a sharecropper's son, before going blind. His mother is obviously depicted as the source of his inspiration, and she is presented as some kind of mystical symbol of strong black womanhood. I assume Oprah Winfrey wrote the part of this character. The flashback sequences are centered around a tree that has colored glass bottles hanging from it as sort of a makeshift windchime. This is a symbol of some sort. I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to represent, but it was some cliched bullshit, that's for sure.
Okay, so the movie is bad. Not only is it bad, but it's long. Real fucking long. over 2 and a half hours long. And you're sitting there during the last ten minutes, wondering when the fuck this thing is going to end, and you realize they're only up to like 1965 in the timeline. Ray has just gotten off dope and is being psychoanalyzed in a rediculously bad scene. You're wondering how they're going to fit the next 40 years in without making the movie drag on for 10 more hours. Then it appears in yellow text on the screen: "For the next 40 years, Ray entertained audiences worldwide, blah blah blah." And a minute later, the credits role. You almost feel ripped off that they didn't go into the last 40 years of his life AT ALL, but you're so happy that the movie's over, you don't really give a shit.
If you're considering renting this movie, don't. Trust me. I think I'd rather watch "The Temptations."