You’ll love Lucy.
Or at least Lucy as played by the wonderful Nicole Kidman, who captures all the nuances of the real Lucille Ball.
“Being the Ricardos” isn’t all funny. Instead, it’s the drama behind the comedy that endeared itself to millions of Americans, who faithfully tuned in to see their favorite couple.
It’s a look at the tempestuous marriage of Ball and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem,) as well as the politics, censorship and social customs of the era. It also gives the audience an inside look at how television was made, with clever dialogue and real-life characters so realistic it’s sometimes more like watching a documentary than a feature film.
Writer/Director Aaron Sorkin, who earned an Academy Award for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay for “The Social Network,” once again has written an enjoyable biopic about a series that changed television.
Its focus is on five days in 1952 when the couple face what could be disastrous situations. Lucy has discovered she is pregnant – and that word could not be uttered on the small screen at that time. Also, a columnist has accuses her of being a Communist, and a photo of Desi with another woman has been published.
I enjoyed the way Sorkin flashes forward and backward to include the way the couple met and memories of those involved with the show that remains popular in reruns more than 60 years later.
Bardem and Kidman have a great chemistry. Kidman so beautifully nails every facet of her character, every frown and laugh, sarcasm and wit, that I forgot a couple of times I was watching Lucy being depicted by someone else.
The couple’s real-life daughter, Lucie Arnaz, saw an early screening of the movie, and said it was “amazing” (watch what she had to say here.
“Nicole Kidman became my mother’s soul,” she says. That’s a pretty strong recommendation.
It’s a fast-paced, intimate look at an iconic couple and a different time that’s well worth tuning in to.
3 ½ stars
Rated: R for foul language and sexual situations.
Running time: Two hours and 11 minutes.
At Cinemark, Davenport.
Watch the trailer here.