Being the Ricardos (2021) Review

In 1952, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are about to face a very difficult time, with events that could not only end their careers but another that could also end their marriage.

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The pair were very well known for the hit television show I Love Lucy and we are taken on a journey of filming and how Lucille was attempting to make it better and demanding more from the writers and director, not wanting her character to come across as dumb or stupid. She wanted her to be more than married to her husband, who on screen was played by her actual husband Desi. The pair worked so well together on that show and in all aspects of each others lives, or so it would seem. They seemed to be constantly with each other all the time for the other.

When Lucille announced that she was pregnant and that she wanted it to be written into the show so this caused utter chaos and a lot of drama. The producers did not want this to happen and said no chance the studio would allow it as people did not want to see a pregnant woman on screen. I guess in the 1950s even having a woman argue about this was probably rather shocking but it was certainly good to watch unfold.

The way the story is told feels somewhat like a documentary at times with an older Madelyn Pugh telling her accounts of what happened during that truly crazy week. Everything that would go on to unfold and how Lucille really did fight hard for the changes to be made to the show to make it better.

Obviously I have heard about I Love Lucy and well aware of who Lucille Ball is, but that was pretty much the extend of my background knowledge before watching ‘Being the Ricardos’ and in all honesty I was a little bit unsure whether to actually watch the film. However, I am very pleased I did because the performances were fantastic as well as the story being delivered at quite a high pace.

Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem were truly brilliant together and created a lot of tension and passion as the pair. Kidman really pushing to the limits in terms of not only being Lucille but also taking on the part of Lucy in the TV show, demonstrating a lot of range. I mean nothing that we have not grown to expect from her but I feel this is her best performance in a very long time. I always look forward to seeing Bardem and I felt as though this was a lot softer in terms of character to those he has played in the past and a very welcomed addition to his vast filmography.

Having J.K. Simmons in the supporting cast is always a bonus and I truly feel he is one of the best supporting actors around, and quite frankly there’s nothing wrong with being so good at that. Nina Arianda and Alia Shawkat were both given fascinating characters to portray as well really aiding Kidman’s performance and helping push it all on further.

I guess the film could easily be one of the biggest surprises of the year for me as I was not really expecting to like it as much as I did, who would think that actual drama unfolding on set of a TV series would be so entertaining?

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