Today, Amazon drops the hotly-anticipated Being The Ricardos.
There’s no doubt that Lucille Ball is one of TV’s most beloved comedians, so it was only a matter of time before her life was explored in film – enter Being The Ricardos.
When the film begins, we are introduced to the I Love Lucy creatives in documentary-style interviews. There’s head writer Jess Oppenheimer (John Rubinstein), and staff writers Madelyn Pugh (Linda Lavin), and Bob Carroll (Ronny Cox), who reflect on a rough week sometime in the past.
It’s an interesting setup choice before we meet Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem), who appear to be TV’s golden couple both on and off camera. Their week off, however, gets off to a rocky start thanks to gossip columnist Walter Winchell who drops an item linking Ball to the Communist Party at the end of his radio broadcast. The film then takes us through a very tumultuous week, from the first table read on Monday with head writer Jess Oppenheimer (Tony Hale) and staff writers Madelyn Pugh (Alia Shawkat), and Bob Carroll (Jake Lacey), through to the live taping on Friday night.
Writer Arron Sorkin gives an intimate glimpse into the pair’s often turbulent partnership, offering flashbacks and slight flash-forwards as the duo, and co-starts William Frawley (J.K. Simmons) and Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda), try to navigate a rough week. Sokrin’s script rockets along and the 2-hour film explores a lot of themes, including the less glamorous side of television and fame.
Kidman may not be a dead ringer for Lucille Ball, but her performance here is an intriguing one. Meanwhile Bardem gives a measured performance, while Simmons and Arianda are captivating.
Full of amazing performances, this is certainly an early gift this holiday season.
Being the Ricardos streams from today on Amazon Prime Video.