My review of the new biopic “BEING THE RICARDOS” written and directed by Aaron Sorkin starring Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Jake Lucy and Tony Hale.
Oscar® winners Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem star as the power couple behind the beloved 1950s television sitcom “I Love Lucy” in Oscar-winning writer and director Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama, Being the Ricardos. During a single week of production on their hit series, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz battle with the show’s conservative television sponsor Philip Morris, muckraking gossip columnist Walter Winchell and each other, as a series of crises threatens to end their careers and perhaps their marriage.
An intimate glimpse into the pair’s often turbulent partnership, Being the Ricardos unveils the story behind Ball and Arnaz’s whirlwind courtship, their passionate love affair, and the burning ambition that made them leading innovators in the Golden Age of television. On screen, Ball’s signature screwball comic genius, supported by longtime co-stars William Frawley (J.K. Simmons) and Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda) and the show’s legendary writing staff, make “I Love Lucy” an unprecedented popular success. In the boardroom, Arnaz’s visionary business acumen creates a brand-new paradigm for television production as they transform themselves from B-movie contract players into the founders of the world’s top independent TV production company, Desilu Productions.
But even as their on-screen marriage and soaring success make the pair one of America’s most admired couples, conflicting desires at home begin to eat away at everything they’ve accomplished. Being the Ricardos is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Social Network). The film stars Nicole Kidman (The Hours, “Big Little Lies”), Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Biutiful), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Juno), Nina Arianda (Midnight in Paris, Stan & Ollie), Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”) and Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development,” “Search Party”).
Producers are Todd Black (Fences, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Jason Blumenthal (The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds) and Steve Tisch (Forrest Gump, The Pursuit of Happyness). Executive producers are Jenna Block, Stuart Besser (Molly’s Game, The Trial of the Chicago 7), David Bloomfield (The Equalizer, Southpaw), Lauren Lohman (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Lucie Arnaz (“The Desilu Story”) and Desi Arnaz Jr. Director of photography is Jeff Cronenweth (The Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). Production designer is Jon Hutman (“The West Wing,” The House With a Clock in Its Walls). The film is edited by Alan Baumgarten (The Trial of the Chicago 7, American Hustle). Costume designer is Susan Lyall (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Molly’s Game). Music is by Daniel Pemberton (The Trial of the Chicago 7, “Black Mirror”). [Amazon Studios].