RAYMOND & RAY – in Theaters and STREAMING on APPLE +TV

Rated R – 1 hr & 35 mins


STARRING:  Ewan McGregor, Ethan Hawke , Oscar Nunez , Maribel Verdu’ and Vondie Curtis-Hall

Family disfunction is all the rage, as brother Raymond (Ewan McGregor) seeks out his wayward brother Ray (Ethan Hawke), to let him know that their p-o-s father has passed, and that Raymond thinks they should both head home, for his funeral…

As a very uncomfortable road trip ensues, they are informed by their father’s rather quirky Lawyer, Mendez (Oscar Nunez) that his last dying wish was that the boys come together, and dig his actual grave…WTF?

Now, as both men are filled with anguish and discontent for the man that raised them, as his final wish only cements the notion that he was a control freak like no other until the bitter end. So as he manages to control them both “from the grave”, Raymond and Ray have no other choice but to join forces, and dig their father’s grave…

But both men also find, as the realization of their father’s life in his later year’s come crashing in upon them, that the staunch disciplinarian, and womanizing scoundrel they grew up with, did manage to either change his spots, or become the greatest con-man ever, as the people they’re encountering are pretty awesome, and rather endearing.  And as Raymond and Ray start to reflect on these new people in their lives, they realize that their father’s dying, may have just given them the opportunity to rid themselves of their past discontent, while showing them a future that seems a lot brighter, than it ever was before…

Ewan McGregor & Ethan Hawke in Apple Original Film – RAYMOND & RAY
Vondie Curtis-Hall & Ethan Hawke in Apple Original Film – RAYMOND & RAY
Ewan McGregor & Ethan Hawke in Apple Original Film – RAYMOND & RAY

Maribel Verdu’ and Sophie Okonedo in Apple Original Film – RAYMOND & RAY

I give RAYMOND & RAY a rating of 3 out of 5 Stars:  Very surprising throughout, RAYMOND & RAY brings family dysfunction to a whole new level.  McGregor and Hawke are both perfectly cast as the wayward brothers who are forced to face their father’s death head on, along with their own rather mentally abusive upbringings.   And as this story unfolds, you get a true sense of the grief and anguish that these half- brothers are facing, as they try to deal with their own issues, expounded by the sudden death of their estranged father.  I also love the way Director and Writer Rodrigo Garcia manages to bring people from their Father’s life, into Raymond and Ray’s, and whether the encounter is good, bad or indifferent, they all manifest into something rather engaging, frame after frame.  I also enjoyed the way that this film unfolds, as you get the sense that their father, who was very unkind to them both, apparently became a much nicer person in his later years, like many people do. And even though the concept of him being kind and considerate remains a foreign concept to RAYMOND & RAY, it also starts a kind of healing process, as the film continues to play out.  There are a quite a few funny moments along the way too in this Apple + Original film that you are going to love…as you venture with these two lost souls, as they try to find any reality, or sense, in both their meager existences.  It is my hope that if you love McGregor and Hawke as much as I do, and if you too were raised with family dysfunction circling all around you, that you’ll take an hour and 45 mins this weekend, to catch RAYMOND & RAY, because even though this film is anything but a “pick me up”, I’m sure that there is something in this film that everyone can totally relate to…

Kathy Kaiser

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