Before I begin writing my points about Aaron Sorkin‘s latest, let me tell you about the sitcom ‘I Love Lucy‘ on which this film is based. I Love Lucy was an American sitcom of the 1950s that starred real-life couples Desi Arnaz and one of the biggest television stars Lucille Ball. They were the first interracial couple to be depicted in the American sitcom. During the run, the couples were expecting a baby and after convincing the show’s big bosses, Ball appeared pregnant and gave the audience real-feel as she became the first-ever woman to appear pregnant on television. I Love Lucy was also the first to be shot on 35mm. The show was also the trendsetter of holiday specials when it released the Christmas episode. All I am trying to inform the readers is that I Love Lucy was way ahead of its time and set many records. By records, it makes me realize that I Love Lucy was also the first sitcom to top the Nielsen ratings.
So this show has its significance but more than that, there were issues, controversies, and incidents that occurred during the progress of this show. There were personal and professional relations that were jeopardized during the production. The wave of McCarthyism reached their shores and found a communist in Lucille Ball. So Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardos highlights those moments during the shooting of the sitcom. The film highlights behind-the-scenes and excessive heated and verbal confrontations behind writing a sitcom America was ever super crazy about.
Being historically accurate on most of the occasions, the film’s unusual lie throughout the screentime is that all those events occurred in one week. Sorkin did admit but I am not sure why he decided to present the story this way and that too by mentioning the days. Lucille Ball’s children, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz, who are the executive producers, admitted that there were a few fabricated scenes but overall the director did justice with their mother.
I think Being The Ricardos is more character-driven than excellent screenwriting. Due to very limited writing on a run for more than two hours, Aaron Sorkin made use of the talented actors to play their quality part. And there are many scenes that buy the attention of the audience and help us understand how difficult it is to go through the process of writing and making the scenes funny. Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz doesn’t really look like a match but is a little older. But in any capacity, can Javier Bardem play a role that will not make us praise? JK Simmons is such a terrific actor and those who have observed him can clearly get my point that he executes his roles quite differently. His physical and facial performance in this supporting role distinguishes him from the past performances and maybe there is a chance he can get nominated for the Best Supporting Actor. And I wonder what took Aaron Sorkin so long to consider sitting on the director’s chair? Why was he never directing for so many decades?
Being The Ricardos is majorly about Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and my oh my, what a powerful performance she has displayed. I feel she is in hot contention for winning the Best Actress award in the Oscar. There are so many scenes where the audience will contemplate her acting. An absolute blend of physical, facial, and verbal performance to remember. Notice when she runs 500 yards to Desi and gives her the breaking news in her raspy voice. Or when she breaks down in the producer’s office when he suggests voicing for the radio, you can feel a lump in your neck. Those were close to perfection. A few minutes later, she has an argument over a scene with the executive producer, the scene intensifies when they are in disagreement about the flower scene and you can observe the spark of physical and facial brilliance in Nicole the way she begins to convince him. Nicole Kidman in this film is stupendously incredible. She was a terrific choice and the outstanding makeup made her resemble her.
Being The Ricardos is a magnificent remembrance about the making of one of the greatest American television shows that have compelling screenwriting and imposing performances.