Friday, Dec. 17, 2004


Starting with the title — the man's name, but also the shaft of light that music brought to a blind man's world — this bio-pic of Ray Charles is both simple and profound. Director Taylor Hackford briskly spins the story of Charles' rise to rhythm 'n blues stardom and his ornery dalliances with women and drugs. The movie is true to the legend without sentimentalizing it overmuch, and it's savvier than The Aviator about the ruthless business sense a "genius" needs. The superb ensemble cast supports a now-he's-a-star turn by Jamie Foxx. Is he terrific? Yes, indeed.