Being the Ricardos


Biography / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 70%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 706

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 21, 2021 at 02:45 AM



Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball
Christopher Denham as Donald Glass
Brian Howe as Charles Koerner
Nelson Franklin as Joe Strickland - CBS
1.19 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 12 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

the pressure on Lucy and Desi

Greetings again from the darkness. You don't have to be one of the 60 million who, between 1951 and 1957, tuned in each week to watch the latest episode of "I Love Lucy" to feel like you know Lucy, Desi, Ethel, and Fred. Most of us have watched the syndicate re-runs over the past 70 years, and that fact added challenges to this project for writer-director Aaron Sorkin - not the least of which was casting the role of Lucille Ball. Everyone had an opinion, and when you go to cast a true icon, it's a slippery slope.

I'm happy to report (even though it's not surprising) that Oscar winner Nicole Kidman is truly exceptional as Lucy. Perhaps a better choice could be made if this were a remake of the "I Love Lucy" sitcom, but although the film dips in and out of that show's production, this is an Aaron Sorkin movie; so the focus is less on comedy and more on the intricacies of social and political issues. Now you might ask, what issues could a beloved star like Lucy have? How about these: the media is reporting her husband is cheating on her, the sponsors don't want her appearing on air while pregnant, internal battles over a particular scene with the director and writers, and she's just been publically called out for being a communist.

You've surely detected by now that this is no comedy about Lucy. Instead, it's a pretty heavy drama about pressures at the top of a profession, and the eternal difficulties in cultivating a successful marriage. Adding heft is the era in which this occurs. It was rare for a woman to wield Lucy's power, and the social mores of the time forced big time debate over showing a woman during pregnancy - even if that woman was married! Filmmaker Sorkin utilizes an odd structure for the film. It appears to be happening during the show's second season, but we are actually looking back years later through the eyes of the show's writers and producer. And then beyond that, we get flashbacks from the flashbacks to Lucy's time at RKO, and the early flirtations that led to Lucy and Desi.

Oscar winner Javier Bardem plays Desi Arnaz. Although he bears little physical resemblance to the Cuban bandleader, Bardem expertly captures the essence of Desi as a businessman, actor, musician, lover of Lucy, and lover of life. For me, it was as thrilling to watch Desi's shrewd negotiations with the network and Philip Morris executives as his energized bongos while performing "Babalu" at Ciro's. Sorkin makes it clear that both Lucy and Desi were brilliant at what they did. Together they formed Desilu Productions, and he handled much of the business side, while her perfectionism and comedy instincts pushed the show to limits never before reached.

But what would the Ricardos be without their neighbors, landlords, and friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz? Nina Arianda (a Tony winner) plays Ethel/Vivian Vance, while Oscar winner JK Simmons plays Fred/William Frawley. The set is not the warm and fuzzy cocoon one might imagine. Vivian's well known frustration was with Lucy mandating Ethel's frumpy and dowdy look, while it's clear Vivian and Frawley's bickering carried on after the lights dimmed ... due in no small part to Frawley's alcoholic ways. That said, Ms. Arianda is terrific in the role, and Mr. Simmons epitomizes the grumpy old man we know as Fred.

Due to the flash-forward recollections, we get Tony Hale and John Rubinstein as the younger and older producer Jess Oppenheimer, Jake Lacy and Ronny Cox as the younger and older writer Bob Carroll, while Alia Shawkat and Linda Lavin play the two versions of writer Madelyn Pugh. It's Ms. Lavin who describes Lucy and Desi's relationship as, they were either "tearing each other's heads off, or tearing each other's clothes off." It's debatable whether Sorkin's choice to structure the multiple time lines adds to the film's depth, but it does allow for more talking ... something Sorkin never shies away from. This is his third directorial effort after MOLLY'S Game (2017) and THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (2020), and he won his Oscar for the adapted screenplay of THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010).

Despite all the other aspects, this is the story of Lucy in crisis mode. She is pregnant with the child of a husband who is likely cheating on her. Her show and company are in jeopardy, and because of something she did many years ago, her status as a beloved American icon could be lost. Her show transcended all other forms of entertainment at the time and was must-watch TV when not every home had a TV (much less 3 or 4). The film mostly covers one week in time, though Sorkin does give us a look back at a time when the industry simply didn't know what to do with her talent. For the fans, we do get a mention of Vitameatavegin, and a wonderful recreation of the infamous stomping of grapes. It's a delight to see such fine actors fully engaged in roles they know will be picked apart by many. This is not the Lucy movie we would typically expect, but it's one that pays tribute to the real person and real people and what they accomplished.

In theaters on December 10, 2021 and streaming on Amazon Prime beginning December 21, 2021.

Reviewed by blanbrn 8 / 10

Give and take funny look at love and work life of a legendary couple!

Never really a watcher of "I Love Lucy" as it was before my time and never really watched reruns still I watched this film due to liking history and seeing the star power of Kidman and Bardem. "Being the Ricardos" was one well done in depth film as it spotlights and looks at the life of one Lucille Ball(Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz(Javier Bardem) shown are the behind the scenes drama and meetings in the writing room before going on set, plus you see the acting and chemistry as both film scenes together. However to make things more interesting the media sees the couple as a high wire act as scandal rumors with tabloid investigations that involve political scares and personal accusations of affairs nearly derail this couple. Things get complex for the couple still they are romantic and loving and work together as for her day and time Mrs. Ball(in a sexy turn from Nicole Kidman) was a fine looking lady. The film is well written and directed in an informative way from Sorkin as it's a super well done showcase of a legendary power couple and it's a watch for the performances of Nicole and Javier.

Reviewed by subxerogravity 8 / 10

I can see Nicole Kidman getting an Oscar nod for this one.

I love Lucy is one of the most revolutionary TV shows of all time. Things that we take for granted when watching sitcoms this show created (for instance if they were to do a sequel to this movie it could center around the fact that a rerun did not exist prior to I Love Lucy).

Many younger fans may not know anything about the show but I'm old enough to live through a time in which Lucy was a part of a handful of choices on TV, and lucky for me I Love Lucy was genuinely funny. This made the movie interesting to find out about Lucille Ball, the woman who played Lucy Riccardo.

The movie is actually a composite of a few events in the life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz squeezed into a format that looks like a day in the life on a TV show. Being the Riccardos showcases the week it takes to make one episode of I Love Lucy. From a Monday table read to the Friday filming. Inside of this week is added certain highlights that most likely span the entire length of the show. Events like: Lucille being investigated as a communist, Desi's infidelity, and two things that I did not know about, Vivian Vance's contempt with being Lucy's less desirable sidekick Ethel Mertz and the challenges of being Madelyn Pugh if not the first, one of the first women writing on a television show.

Nicole Kidman gave an excellent performance in this flick. Its one of these things where I can see Oscar written all over it. She played Lucille Ball better than she played Lucy Riccardo but that may have been the point cause we got some inside of what a genius Ball is (Thank god the only "issue "with this story is that men could not stomach such brilliance coming from a woman and not something like Cliff Huxtable's very big difference from the man who played him).

Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz was amazing as well. This is a situation where they could have messed this up trying to do a bad imitation of Ricky Ricardo, but it does feel like Bardem did his research to do it right.

Being the Riccardos could be considered an ensemble cast cause even though it centers on Lucille Ball and her husband, its focus on their iconic show met we got a lot a detail that blended in very well without being overwhelming. We got to see a boat load of characters played very well by some recognizable faces.

Aaron Sorkin did an absolutely wonderful job telling the tale of the Queen of Comedy.

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