As I've said before, it is much easier to win an Oscar than it used to be, and so when this high profile biopic started to get average reviews outside of the lead performance, I let it go at the cinema and consigned it to the DVD list. I think I was right to do so as, at its worst, this is little better in style and originality than a TV movie, and only the recreations of the insatiable music stand out.
Interpreting a person's life in an interesting way has caused better directors than Taylor Hackford to fail before now; it is just a difficult genre. The most annoying thing in this example is how we spend two hours and twenty minutes following the man's amazing life from infancy to his early forties, and then we are given a two minute montage to sum up the remaining forty years! What is all that about?
A lot of the structural problems come down to editing, and you can't help wonder if the director's cut solves this issue - but at this point I can't be bothered to find out.
That aside, the central performance from Jamie Foxx is exceptional and worthy of high praise - superficially he could be accused of doing little more than a good impression of Ray Charles Robinson, but that would be unfair. At no point does he descend into characature, and although there are not too many actual dramatic scenes, when they do come he is more than up to the task, allowing you to sympathize with the character whilst being painfully aware of his faults.
Once again (as with The Machinist) here is an actor and a performance worthy of a better film that doesn't materialize. But I sense this is just the beginning for the outrageously talented Mr Foxx. 6/10