Any viewers who look at Ray and see only clichés are declaring themselves hopelessly lost to the real achievement of this picture, which is nothing less than a statement of faith in the inclusiveness of American culture.
Jamie Foxx should start clearing some space on his mantle -- his extraordinary, transcendent performance as music legend Ray Charles in the exuberant Ray is the one to beat for Best Actor come Oscar night.
It's the kind of movie in which every song or musical breakthrough has a dramatic inspiration drawn from a real-life experience, designed to make us believe a life can be analyzed through its creative expressions and successes.
Ray turns out to be a proudly conventional film that combines an involving true story, irresistible music and a charismatic performance in a way that makes us not only forgive but actually almost relish how standard the presentation is.
It succeeds more often than it doesn't, and thanks to a kinetic, mesmerizing performance by Jamie Foxx in the title role, the film has immediate accessibility to millions of Charles fans the world over.