Being Ricardos | Director: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, JK Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, Alia Shoukath, Jake Lacy, Clark Greg
Duration: 2 hours 11 minutes | Language: English | Rating: 2
Aaron Sork has always had a distorted sense of moral ambiguity when writing. Even someone who allowed illegal wiretaps, established evidence, leaked false rumors and targeted black Americans, civil rights groups and anti-war activists deserves our respect in his book in the end. Sorkin dreams of a fictional episode to paint a vicious historical figure in good light. His new film Being the Recordos dramatizes the busy week of the lives of TV icons Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnas (Javier Bardem). The accusation that Desi was guilty of adultery and that Lucy was a communist was at the height of Red Square.
The reactionary hysteria lost the reputation and jobs of many Americans. Being a celebrity didn’t save anyone from it. So, after Winston Churchill picks up the tube in The Darkest Hour, Sorkin envisions the most stunning scene in a historical drama. To put an end to public concerns, Desi gets the FBI’s own J Edgar Hoover to call for the tapping of their show to erase Lucy’s name. Since the agency has a file about her, that is unlikely to ever happen.
The truth is often refined in the context of Sork’s making – of stories: it may be the production of a government (The West Wing), an observational capitalist corporation (The Social Network), a cable news show (the newsroom), or a prosecution. Of peaceful protesters (The Trial of the Chicago 7). Ricardos learns about another American institution: Sitcom, through the eyes of one of its pioneers. Sorkin shadows Lucy through the sound stage, the writer’s room, and the studio backlink. To thrive like she did in the 50s, she has to be funnier than men. She regularly conducts material workshops, selects details for logic, and plays in the ear during run-through. This often means that she has stepped on some toes.
While some of the comedies may be outdated, there is no denying Lucy’s instinct for perspective and her passion for body humor. When they read the script or practice the scenes, Lucy imagines the scenes in black and white because they appear on the TV of the audience watching at home. Her vision is shown while enhancing her onscreen character vintage trampling scene in an Italian vineyard. Or sit next to neighbors Fred and Ethel on a single bench and play. These moments give rare pleasures and some insights into Lucy as a novelty. But because Sorkin is more interested in “serious” drama, the film does not fully transmit her comic energy. Lucy has the potential to be a “serious actor” but there are constant back and forth about what it takes to become a sitcom star. Sork’s editorial weakens her craft. When Lucy’s discovery annoys a roommate, he advises her to control her excitement of “we’m not wild uncle”. Sorkin does not appreciate Lucy’s slapstick comedy brand. In each episode of I Love Lucy, he does not see a woman trying to empower herself as much as she can in a traditional home setting, trying to outdo her husband. Instead, as one of the show’s authors, Madeleine Pug (Alia Shaukat) puts it, he believes she’s “herself” baby “for the sake of comedy.
Madeleine is in a similar situation to Lucy as the only woman in the writer’s room trying to bring a perspective that all jokes are not done at the expense of Lucy or Vivian. As a further editorial, Sorkin forms actors who present older versions of the executive producer of I Love Lucy, and leaders (including Madeleine) who talk about the turbulent times, and fills in the details of Lucy’s and Desi’s relationship. This is a strange device that reduces immersion, repeatedly pulling us out of the depicted period.
The film opens with the couple arguing over a tabloid story about Desi cheating on her. The radio is on. The argument heats up, as one of the talking heads predicts, and one moment they shave their heads and the next moment they tear their clothes off each other. In a gimmicky framing choice, Sorkin shoots both of them down from the waist, revealing their shocked faces only when a breaking story on the radio reports that Lucy is a communist. For clarity: Lucy registered through a communist in 1936, did not vote, to make fun of her unionist grandfather who raised her.
As the couple works on damage control, more and more tabloids take over reports of Desi’s infidelity. “Does Desi love Lucy loosely?” Reading a report. In addition to these two crises, from Monday’s table-read to Friday’s tapping, Sorkin weaves a whole series of contradictions into a single work week. There is a conflict between the couple who want to include Lucy’s pregnancy in the show and the network executives who want to hide the bump behind the props. Lucy has conflicts with almost everyone: Shoranner Jess Oppenheimer (Tony Hale), director Donald Glass (Christopher Denham), Madeline, and co-writer Bob Carol Jr. (Jake Lacey) and their own rivalry. -Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda) and William Frawley (JK Simmons), who played neighbors Ethel and Fred, have also gained their own animosity.
Amidst all the overplots, Sorkin crawls through the extended flashbacks of Lucy’s days with RKO, the radio then switching to TV, the couple’s first meeting, and the early interruptions to their relationship. The behind-the-scenes scenes – how Lucy persuades Jesse to give Desi an executive producer credit to protect her marriage and how Desi gave Philip Morris an ultimatum during Lucy’s pregnancy – show how the couple batted against each other. Kidman and Bardem reveal the darkness and spark between the couple. While this relationship will survive rumors of Lucy’s communist sentiment, it will not survive rumors of Desi’s money laundering.
In any biographical play, the makeup team carries a lot of weight. Take away the orange curly apdo, the red lipstick and the smoke-y voice, there is still another Nicole Kidman performance to be appreciated. She portrays a woman who wants to protect her marriage and is forced to make compromises for it, and lashes out at the hopes of her producers, directors and advertisers to have her voice heard. Even though he has not seen the movie, Bardem recognizes Desi in a way that appeals to anyone’s pants. The pain still flows out of a otherwise hilarious behavior that sells the pain of a weak male ego unable to bear the shadow of a woman.
All the usual sorcin deficiencies are numerous. There is a centralist backwardness: William rejected the Communists and the McCarthyists in the same breath. Pandering: Lucy, Madeleine and Vivian forget their differences for a moment and reunite with their sister in an argument. William apologizes to Vivian and joins in, comparing her pain at being ridiculed for Vivian’s appearance to her own pain at being ridiculed for her age. Leaned a little closer. You can almost hear Sorkin chanting these lines. What is most disturbing about the film is his misconception about Lucy that he needs the help of Desi or Hoover to protect Lucy’s job, secure her place in Showbiz and leave a lasting legacy. Lucy was a fascinating cultural icon, but you never know when watching Being the Recordos. Sorkin used his own dramatic precautions to investigate her self-image or her contributions to the emerging medium of television.