Being the Ricardos, a new biopic starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, is coming to Amazon Prime on December 21. Directed by Aaron Sorkin, it’s about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and the making of one of the most influential sitcoms in television history.
Here’s everything you need to know about Being the Ricardos
What is Being the Ricardos about and is it based on a true story?
Being the Ricardos is a biopic of two extremely influential actors, comedians, and producers, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Ball and Arnaz were the stars of I Love Lucy, playing onscreen husband and wife Lucy and Ricky Ricardo – the sitcom is often called one of the most influential in television history.
The film is set during the production of the first series of their CBS sitcom, though it also draws on other real-life scandals and difficulties that the pair went through.
For example, Being the Ricardos covers Lucille Ball’s real-life pregnancy, and the controversial decision to acknowledge it on air at a time when television was limited by strict morality codes – Ball and Arnaz eventually compromised with executives by agreeing none of the characters would use the word “pregnant”, which was considered vulgar.
Who is in the cast?
Nicole Kidman (Nine Perfect Strangers) is playing Lucille Ball, the comedy actress and influential producer – Ball was the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions. Cate Blanchett had been in early talks to play Ball before Kidman was ultimately cast.
Javier Bardem (Dune) is playing Desi Arnaz, Lucy’s husband and creative partner; Bardem’s casting has attracted some controversy, because Bardem is Spanish while Arnaz was Cuban.
The actor recently responded to this criticism, saying “we should collectively do better to provide access and opportunities for more American Latino stories and storytellers.”
The rest of the cast includes JK Simmons (Whiplash), Nina Arianda (Billions), Tony Hale (Arrested Development), Alia Shawkat (Search Party), Jake Lacy (The White Lotus), and Clark Gregg (The Avengers).
The film is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, writer of The West Wing and The Social Network. Sorkin has previously written and directed Molly’s Game and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Where can I see the trailer?
Right here! You can see Kidman and Bardem recreate iconic scenes from I Love Lucy, as well as reference to the Red Scare, which saw the FBI investigate a number of artists and filmmakers (Ball among them) for potential Communist links.
Where can I watch Being the Ricardos and I Love Lucy?
Being the Ricardos will be in UK cinemas from 10 December. Shortly after that, it’ll be available on Amazon Prime from 2 December.
I Love Lucy is available in the US on Paramount+, which will be coming to the UK in early 2022.
Has Being the Ricardos won any awards?
Nicole Kidman has won the Golden Globe for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture in the Drama category. It is her sixth Golden Globe.
Both Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem have been nominated for Outstanding Performances in a Leading Role by the Screen Actors Guild (awards often considered an important step to build momentum for the Oscars).
At the Oscars, Nicole Kidman received a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Javier Bardem for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and JK Simmons for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
What did you say in your review?
In our review, we said that “Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem give strong performances, but Being the Ricardos still doesn’t quite work” because Aaron Sorkin doesn’t actually seem to particularly like Lucille Ball.
Why should I watch it?
You should watch it if you like biopics, particularly ones that focus on important artists like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It’ll also be full of Aaron Sorkin’s fast dialogue, so it’s worth taking a look if you’ve liked his previous films too.
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