BEING THE RICARDOS
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jake Lacy, and Clark Gregg
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Though significantly weaker in its writing than many of writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s other scripts and bland in the directorial sense, Being the Ricardos still managed to charm me. There’s not much beneath the surface of the story, set just before Lucille Ball’s “red scare” moment, but I was nonetheless taken by the quick-fire, “inside baseball” dialogue and the consistently engaging performances. None of the actors fully embody their characters, but they all give terrific turns, especially Nicole Kidman. The filmmaking itself seems more in tune with a miniseries format than a movie, but I can live with that.
Being The Ricardos is one of writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s weaker offerings, but it’s still an entertaining and interesting one. While his direction shows more style than his previous works, the pacing is very slow. On top of that, the structure of the film is extremely jarring. I’m usually a fan of the way Sorkin structures his stories, but this time it’s a bit confusing. Thankfully, Sorkin’s signature snappy dialogue is as fun as always; the performances by Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem and Nina Arianda are amazing; and the film has enough of an emotional punch that it’s worth watching.
In Being the Ricardos, writer-director Aaron Sorkin gives I Love Lucy the Sports Night (and The Newsroom) treatment by providing a humanizing, behind-the-scenes look at the classic Hollywood production, with the fact of it being based on a true story adding a bit more oomph to the proceedings. The material also is elevated by a terrific cast that skillfully delivers Sorkin’s rapid-fire dialogue effortlessly. I suspect that the film will be more resonant with those who watched the classic series (which I didn’t) and it lacks some tension since the events are predetermined, but I found myself fascinated, nonetheless.