Thursday Theater: Out-Ray-Geous!
October 28, 2004
Post inspired by meme blog, Thursday Theater:
Ray, the biopic of the late "Genius of Soul" Ray Charles, opens in theaters nationwide on Friday (Oct. 29) and the buzz is crazy about this biopic. There's already talk that Jamie Foxx's uncanny likeness and performance of Ray Charles will garner him a Best Actor Oscar nomination (and maybe even a win!). So in honor of Ray, here are three questions of the week:
1. Based on what you have read or seen so far, do you think Jamie Foxx's portrayal of the late soulster Ray Charles is worthy of an Oscar nod?
No question. This is Jamie Foxx's breakthrough performance and one that will probably land him in the $20 million per-film actor's club. Jamie looks like Ray so much -- it's uncanny. Based on the clips, I say Jamie is a shoe-in to nab a Best Oscar nod. Now, will Jamie win the most coveted actor's prize in the biz? Hmmm, I don't know. The film academy tends to overlook great performances by African Americans -- sans Denzel Washington and Halle Berry past Oscar wins. Time will only tell.
2. Name an actor or actors who did a phenomenal job portraying a late music artist in a biopic?
I thought that Jennifer Lopez did a great job portraying Selena. The movie's story line was a drag, but J.Lo's performance as the Telano singer was pretty good. Some say Jennifer was channeling Selena with her stage performance.
I also liked Val Kilmer's somewhat skewered portryal of the legendary Doors frontman Jim Morrison in the Oliver Stone-directed The Doors.
Don Cheadle is probably the only actor who can play Sammy Davis, Jr. Don did a fantastic job playing the late entertainer in the HBO flick, The Rat Pack.
3. Has there been an actor who did a horrible job portraying a late musician in a film?
I thought Larenz Tate was a bad choice to play the late '50s teen sensation Frankie Lymon in Why do Fools Fall in Love? Plus, I think Larenz doesn't even look like Frankie, and, his lip syncing in the film was dreadful. It wasn't a bad performance on Larenz's part, it just wasn't convincing to me.
Name a musician(s) who you think deserves to have their story told on the big screen and name the actor(s) who should play the artist in the biopic.
Jill Scott or Lelah Hathaway should play jazz songbird Billie Holiday in a movie.
Undoubtedly, funnyman Dave Chappelle should play the late funk/soul icon Rick James in a biopic.
Is it too late for Eddie Murphy to play Stevie Wonder in a big screen biopic?
And finally, jazz legend John Coltrane's story needs to be told on the big screen.
Dennis Haysbert (of Fox's 24 fame) is a nice candidate to play the legendary sax man. A friend of mine suggested Brandford Marsalis should play John Coltrane. Yes, Brandford has dappled in acting -- his most notable role was in Spike Lee's School Daze back in 1988.
Go see Ray!