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USA: Universal Studios
UK: UIP (UK)
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King, Clifton Powell, Harry Lennix, Bokeem Woodbine, Aunjanue Ellis, Sharon Warren, C J Sanders, Curtis Armstrong, Richard Schiff, Larenz Tate, Terrence Dashon Howard, David Krumholtz, Wendell Pierce, Chris Thomas King, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Rick Gomez, Denise Dowse, Warwick Davis, Patrick Bauchau, Robert Wisdom, Kurt Fuller, Julian Bond, Kimberly Ardison, Renee Wilson, Willie Metcalf, Mike Pniewski, Terrone Bell, Richard A Smith, Gary Grubbs, Carol Sutton, Bill Breaux, Alex Van, Roland "Bob" Harris, Tom Clark, Afemo Omilami, Elisabeth Omilami, Vernel Bagnaris, Fahnlohnee Harris, Michael Travis Stone, Eric O'Neal Jr, Tequan Richmond, Matthew Benjamin, John Swasey, James Huston, Marc Lynn, Kyle Scott Jackson, Todd J Smith, Rutherford "Rudy" Cravens, Darnell Williams, Jedda Jones, Jeffrey Galpin, Michael Arata, Estella Denson
Director: Taylor Hackford
USA & UK: 152 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for depiction of drug addiction, sexuality and some thematic elements
UK Certificate: 15 contains drug abuse
USA Release Date: 29 October 2004
UK Release Date: 21 January 2005
"Soul is a way of life, but it is always the hard way." - Ray Charles
If a life is merely the sum of its parts, then the story of Ray Charles might read as a tale of personal highs and lows behind a lengthy, award-winning career in the music business.
But for a man who synthesized his struggles, pain and personal darkness as effectively as he incorporated a myriad of musical styles—Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Rock and Roll, Gospel, Country & Western—into his art, the story reads much differently, transformed from a sequence of events and accomplishments into a compelling and ultimately inspiring journey of a one-of-a-kind genius with a distinct vision...who, along the way, gave the world a new way to hear.
RAY is the never-before-told, musical biographical drama of American legend Ray Charles, brought to the big screen following a 15-year journey by award-winning filmmaker Taylor Hackford and featuring a remarkable performance from the multifaceted Jamie Foxx.
Director Hackford (THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, DOLORES CLAIBORNE, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN)—who, along with producing partner Stuart Benjamin (LA BAMBA, THE LONG WALK HOME, EVERYBODY'S ALL-AMERICAN), spent the last 15 years developing this story with Ray Charles—presents a well defined portrait of an artist who turned his personal encounters with darkness into a burning light. The story of Ray - that of an impoverished, blind child of the segregated South who went on to break down social and artistic barriers and change the history of American music - is the quintessentially American story of a man's fight to control his own destiny.
With Foxx assuming the title role in a performance of intensity, breadth and truth, RAY follows the most volatile period of Charles' career, which starts the moment this young, black, blind teenager courageously boards a Florida bus all alone and heads across the United States to hone his art in the happening Seattle jazz scene. From Ray's early struggles to be treated fairly and find his own path, to his discovery by Atlantic Records and subsequent meteoric rise to global fame, to his battles with addiction and his torrid love affairs, the journey of Ray leads not only forward but back to Ray's youth. For, even as he becomes one of his generation's greatest musical heroes, Ray must come to terms with the fifth year in his life when his brother George died and he began to lose his vision—a time that had an indelible effect on Ray's drive, emotions and immortal music.