Being the Ricardos lacks the imagination to truly capture its subjects’ star power, but Nicole Kidman shines where the script lacks.
Let’s get this over with. The movie isn’t a biography about its two main stars. It’s more of a personal view of how Lucy and Desi faced a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage. However, for a movie about the most iconic comedy series of its time, Being the Ricardos is joyless and, very much in the style of its director, Aaron Sorkin.
However, while the movie stays close to being a beat-by-beat, Wikipedia-page style retelling of the real-life story including black and white flashbacks to the comedy series itself, the commitment of Kidman and Bardem more than makes up for it.
The two main stars of the movie portray the two main stars of the comedy show “I Love Lucy”. Boasting a mostly A-List cast, three actors shine brightly with some aiming for an Academy Award nomination.
Nicole Kidman is a first-rate, Oscar-winning actor; her Lucille Ball is a fully realized and multi-dimensional character. However, her problem was Sorkin’s direction. It ends up being so unlikable you don’t want to spend this much time with her. And that’s not her fault. If anything, it played to Kidman’s strength to do more and fully engulf us into her Lucille Ball.
However, she wasn’t alone. Javier Bardem presents an expert’s class in acting. Kidman doesn’t really have romantic chemistry with Bardem but I don’t think she has to. Bardem truly shines in his solo scenes, especially in the flashbacks. But this is Kidman’s show through and through.
Should you watch it?
Being the Ricardos attempts to cover a lot of ground and succeeds for the most part. It’s an enjoyably and safe biopic that doesn’t gloss over the troubled marriage and the struggles of being a woman in 1950s Hollywood, yet it never really lets you know how influential Ball was.
Where can I watch it?
You can stream Being the Ricardos exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.