BEING THE RICARDOS (2021)
Aaron Sorkin’s latest is a masterfully written, expertly acted foray behind the scenes of one of the most popular television comedies in history that hits a few sluggish patches, but ultimately delivers unique drama and insight.
During one of their production weeks on “I Love Lucy,” Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) find themselves juggling multiple threats toe their personal lives and careers in Being the Ricardos. Sorkin is known for his speedy dialogue and head-first diving into his subjects, both of which play out here with the regular hallmarks of the writer/director. Nicole Kidman is stunning as Ball, if not initially jarring due to her transformation heavily aided by make-up. She brings Ball’s wit and quirkiness to light, overshadowed only by her strong handling of the behind-the-scenes happenings of the show. Bardem arguably overshadows Kidman, however, with a steady performance that commands attention every time he is on screen. J.K. Simmons is a likely nominee for best supporting actor, as well.
Those not familiar with Ball or the show, or those lacking interest in the inner workings of television, may not find Being the Ricardos nearly as enticing. While it features a lot of insider baseball, it also feels a bit too long. From a film quality standpoint, however, this checks all of the boxes: exquisite cinematography, beautiful sets, vibrant costuming and make-up… this has it all. Being the Ricardos may not be Sorkin’s best, but in a close race of quality for the filmmaker, it delivers exactly what you expect.
Being the Ricardos hits limited theaters on December 10th, 2021 and Amazon Prime Video on December 21st, 2021.
Photo from ELLE