Being the Ricardos

[4 stars] [IMDB Link]

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)

An Amazon Prime free-to-me streamer. I think it may have a shot at one or two Oscars. (That's as far out on a limb as I'll go for 2022 predictions.)

It's the story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, mainly set around the time a 1952 episode of "I Love Lucy" titled "Fred and Ethel Fight" is performed. There are flashbacks to how Lucy and Desi met, how their career paths unfolded, etc. It takes some liberties with the timeline. Jammed up close to the episode is the "revelation" of Lucy's old Commie ties (which actually happened in 1953), and the Lucy/Desi divorce (not until 1960). But "Little Ricky" was in the oven around that time, and the movie has some fun with the conflict about how to handle Lucy's pregnancy on the show. But Lucy's passion for micro-control over the show, running roughshod over the putative director, the producer, sponsors, the network, even fellow actors is shown in detail.

The acting is superb, as you'd expect. Written (and directed) by Aaron Sorkin, so the dialog is sharp and intelligent. One of those Oscars I mentioned above should really go to whoever transformed Nicole Kidman into Lucy; it's uncanny. The actress playing Vivian Vance is even closer to the real thing, including her voice. In contrast, J.K. Simmons isn't even close to William Frawley, but who cares, he's great anyway.

Only downside: it's a tad long.

Oh, yeah: everybody smokes. The Amazon Prime content advisory: "Nudity, smoking, alcohol use, sexual content, foul language". I missed the nudity.

Last Modified 2024-01-17 4:20 PM EDT