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RAYMOND & RAY: 4 STARS. “a low-key dramedy with a high-level ensemble cast.”

The main characters of “Raymond & Ray,” played by Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke, pack a great deal of emotional baggage on the trip to their father’s funeral.

The leads play estranged half-brothers reunited after five years, on the occasion of their abusive father’s death.

Ray is a clean-and-sober widower and former trumpet player with a temper. His life has been colored by his father’s abuse, and that fractious relationship has been a burden to him for decades.

Raymond, equally scarred by his upbringing, is outwardly more successful, but the cracks are beginning to show. He’s not allowed to drive because of a recent DUI and his marriage is in tatters.

They are not close, but are bonded by the bad treatment suffered at the hand of their father.

The funeral is the next day, hours away in Richmond, Virginia, and Ray is reluctant. “Are you really going to go, after the things he did to you?” he asks Raymond. “We don’t have to go,” says Ray. “He’s dead. He’ll never know.”

On the subsequent trip they rehash the sins of their father, and later confront the many surprises that await in Richmond. There are more half-siblings, an ex-lover Lucía (Maribel Verdú) and, most surprising of all, everyone speaks warmly of the man they feared.

This tragicomic story of suppressed rage, of confronting the past, healing and facing the future, is wonderfully brought to life by the leads.

The easy-going pacing allows McGregor and Hawke to bite down hard and make a meal of the characters of Raymond and Ray. McGregor hides a simmering rage under Raymond’s button-down façade, while Hawke gives Ray a world-weary roughness to the free-spirited former musician and addict. They bring a winning combo of frustration and humor to the movie, while Verdú provides real warmth in this existential look at life.

“Raymond & Ray,” now streaming on Apple TV+, is a low-key dramedy with a high-level ensemble cast that elevates the story of family trauma.

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