Raymond & Ray — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

But one thing that Garcia has never shown signs of possessing is a skill for comedy, which proves to be a liability here. It’s admirable that he aims to counterbalance the death-shrouded thematic heaviness with light irreverence, but little of the humor, whether it takes the verbal form of the brothers’ ribbing of each other or veers into physical comedy with a whimsical visit from twin acrobats, really lands. It’s easy to be disarmed by such attempts, but impossible to genuinely laugh at them.


There’s also an imbalance in the writing of the two lead characters that effectively leaves one-half of its irresistible-on-paper star pairing high and dry. Raymond feels so caricatured in his stiff anal-retentiveness that McGregor can do little to rehabilitate the characterization; having to tamp down his roguish charisma, the actor comes off as seeming uncomfortable. Hawke, on the other hand, has no such limits on his charisma in playing a much more multi-faceted, human character. He’s especially great opposite Okonedo as Ray and Kiera form an affecting bond, and having Ray be a former trumpet prodigy is a neat callback to the actor’s portrayal of Chet Baker in the biopic Born To Be Blue. So while Raymond And Ray registers nicely as a relaxed, compassionate character study, there’s no denying that one of the two central characters being studied hugely outshines the other.