The true story of television pioneers Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as
they face a crisis that could end their careers and their marriage.
Being the Ricardos (2021)
Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Starring Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons,
Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jake Lacy
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons)
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, whatever their faults as human beings, changed the landscape of television forever. Their show featured TV's first pregnant woman and subsequent birth, as well as the first Hispanic lead and an interracial marriage. In addition, Lucille was instrumental in developing Star Trek, so think of the ripple effect that that had on pop culture. Telling their story is a complex affair, and who better than Aaron Sorkin to do so. Sorkin smartly carves out a significant piece of their lives, when Lucy was being accused of being a commie and Desi was in the midst of an affair that threatened their marriage and onscreen chemistry.
Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem were perfectly cast as Lucy and Desi, respectively. Neither one bare a significant resemblance to their real-life subject, but their performances outshine it. J.K. Simmons also excels as William Frawley, the actor who played Fred on I Love Lucy. The film jumps back and forth between the situation at hand and how Lucy and Desi first met. The film shows just how perfect they were for each other before Desi started sleeping around. Together, they built an empire in Desilu Productions, and Lucy became the first woman to run her own production company.
Being the Ricardos doesn't dive all that much into Lucy and Desi's life outside the show, mostly because the show was their life. They lived and breathed showbiz, and their dedication made I Love Lucy the most-watched show on television for a time. Sorkin may still be trying his best when it comes to directing, but his screenwriting will always outshine his inexperience as a director. This film is no exception.