My Favourite Husband

Being the Ricardo’s

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J. K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Jake Lacey, Clark Gregg, Christopher Denham, Tony Hale, Alia Sawkat

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Running Time: 2 hours and 11 minutes

This film is only available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Despite the extremely limited release of Being The Ricardo’s, the casting genius of having Oscar winners Nicole Kidman (The Hours) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) play husband and wife pays off in this talkative Aaron Sorkin film pays off.

Kidman and Bardem are absolutely superb playing the film and TV star Lucille Ball and her Cuban husband Desi Arnaz and it is a real treat to watch both actors feed off each other’s immeasurable talent.

The tumultuous marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz is vividly captured in Being The Ricardo’s as they work together on the hit TV show I Love Lucy, filming all the while in the late 1950’s in Los Angeles amidst the tail end of the McCarthyism Anti-Communism trials which affected the American Film and Television industry as Republican senator Joseph McCarthy targeted the entertainment industry as being a cesspool for communist sympathizers, whipping up Anti-Communist sentiment in America which was rife in the 15 years following the end of World War 2.

Audiences just need to read Arthur Miller’s The Crucible as a cultural point of reference for his allegorical play about the Salem Witch trials of 1692 in Massachusetts. Arthur Miller himself was targeted by the Committee for Un-American Activities.

Fortunately for writer and director Aaron Sorkin, Being the Ricardo’s is exceptionally well researched but what really shines through is the brilliant acting of Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

Both are experienced actors and their portrayal of Lucille Ball and the suave and charismatic Cuban entertainer Desi Arnaz is perfect. In actual fact, Javier Bardem is as good as Nicole Kidman and to add into this are the supporting cast most notably Oscar winner J. K. Simmons (Whiplash) playing drunken actor William Frawley.

There is a superb scene in Being the Ricardo’s when William Frawley takes Lucille Ball to a dive bar at 10am in Hollywood to escape the histrionics on the set of I love Lucy, which at that point in the late 1950’s was sponsored by the American Tobacco company Philip Morris to assuage her feelings of control and her constant suspicion of her Cuban husband Desi of committing adultery.

Like The Trial of the Chicago 7 spotlighted a particular event in American socio-political history, Being The Ricardo’s is a slice of American entertainment history superbly acted by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as all the suspicions surrounding infidelity and being a communist sympathiser are heightened on the night of the live filming of I Love Lucy. The rest is pure dress rehearsal.

If audiences can get to watch Being The Ricardo’s make sure to see it for the excellent performances by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, their combined acting talents are enthralling.

Being the Ricardo’s gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is highly recommended viewing.

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