An intricate drama shot through with audacious gallows humour, the latest from writer-director Rodrigo García stars Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as long-estranged half-brothers who reunite to bury their father.
Raymond & Ray
Shot through with audacious gallows humour, the latest drama from writer-director Rodrigo García (TIFF ’11’s Albert Nobbs) stars Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as long-estranged half-brothers who reunite to bury their father. Chronicling a journey of grief, secrets, and a lifelong bond, Raymond & Ray has insight and wisdom to spare.
In the years since they spoke, brothers Raymond (McGregor) and Ray (Hawke) have both come adrift. Raymond’s wife left him, while Ray, a former musician and recovering addict, takes freelance carpentry jobs and stumbles in and out of casual affairs. When Raymond shows up with news of their father’s death, Ray seems unsure how to react. He hated the old man, but agrees to accompany Raymond on a trek to their father’s final resting place.
Much to their annoyance, everyone the brothers meet attests to their father’s charisma, from his ex-lover Lucía (Maribel Verdú), to his nurse Kiera (Sophie Okonedo), to the priest officiating the funeral (Vondie Curtis Hall). Ray Sr. left his sons a pittance and, to add insult to injury, an aggravating and exhausting final request. As the brothers get to work, long-buried resentments surface and both Raymond and Ray realize they must come to terms with the past if they are to move on with their lives.
Raymond & Ray brims with unexpected detours, revelations, and connections. McGregor and Hawke each convey complex emotional journeys befitting their carefully drawn characters, evading easy closure while arriving at a place of new wisdom. We’re left with the sense that change is inevitable, and love forged in conflict will outlive even the deepest wounds.