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Being the Ricardos

6.52 h 12 min2021X-RayHDRUHDR
During one production week of “I Love Lucy” — from Monday table read through Friday audience taping — Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) face a series of personal and professional crises that threaten their show, their careers and their marriage, in writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama.
Aaron Sorkin
Nicole KidmanJavier BardemJ.K. Simmons
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Supporting actors
Nina AriandaAlia ShawkatTony Hale
Todd BlackJason BlumenthalSteve Tisch
Amazon Studios
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Nuditysmokingalcohol usesexual contentfoul language
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3.1 out of 5 stars

3639 global ratings

  1. 37% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 12% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 32% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DigItManReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Oh my . . .
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To my right I heard my husband repeat over and over again:
"Oh my . . . that is HORRIBLE! She does not look like Lucy, nor does she sound like Lucy, and she doesn't act like Lucy . . . a triple threat."
He added: "It is a good thing it was not released to the theaters, else it would be another Nicole Kidman box office flop."
For those of us who grew up watching one of the many Lucy programs, this is not an incarnation of her work. So disappointing.
723 people found this helpful
James DubyahReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
I’m a huge fan of Lucille Ball
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This was terrible! So disappointed and honestly I feel like it was insulting. The whole cast was off. None of them looked anywhere close to the original cast. Why would they make “Lucy” look like a hideous live wax figure? Or like she got terrible plastic surgery. She looked nothing like Lucy who was one of the most beautiful women . “Desi” looked like some Italian mafia guy. He wasn’t handsome at all!! “Fred” looked nothing like Fred. I didn’t even realize he was playing Fred. Ethel was the only one somewhat close to how Ethel looked. All of the acting was terrible. Especially Nicole Kidman. I didn’t get Lucy’s energy at all! Her voice was awful. Almost like Fran from the nanny. It was just extremely disappointing overall. And boring
483 people found this helpful
Bichon MomReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fascinating behind the scenes look
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‘Being the Ricardos’ is absolutely riveting. As someone who is old enough to remember when ‘I Love Lucy’ was the epitome of must see TV, it is a fascinating behind the scenes look at the people who made it.

Nicole Kidmann is excellent and just nails the voice and intonations of Lucille Ball. Javier Bardem’s performance is one of charm and strength and gives a glimpse into the character of Desi Arnez. The two bring the couple to life.

I really enjoyed watching Nina Arianda and J.K. Simmons as Vivian Vance and William Frawley. I remember reading that they did not particularly like each other and the acerbic wit in this portrayal makes that very clear while still keeping each one likable.

This is not only an excellent portrayal of television pioneers, it is also a look at the beginning of changing mores in this country. Moving from only showing twin beds for a couple to featuring a pregnancy was a giant step. It also shows the mania surrounding the cold war fears of communist subversion.

‘Being the Ricardos’ is well worth watching, even if one is not really familiar with the ‘I Love Lucy’ shows. It’s a look back at the a different time in this country as well as the early days of television.
366 people found this helpful
MorganReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Optimistic that It Will Get Better...
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Only a few moments into this and already I am enormously disappointed. Lucy and "Ricky's" crass and vulgar nature have been very over-exaggerated to the point of making them unappealing. ... BUT .... scene where "Fred & Ethel Fight" ( I know all these episodes as I have them ALL) ... and already this production even has them in the wrong setting .... in this episode, this dialogue takes place in their FIRST apartment - not their second apartment (after they move) ... so if we're going to push for keeping facts straight by emphasizing the couple's "crassness" .... then LET'S KEEP FACTS STRAIGHT by at least portraying the correct settings ... Amazon, I thought you'd do better than this
422 people found this helpful
Mr_EdwReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Wanted to like it, but very boring
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Unfortunately not entertaining. Not funny, uninteresting. I grew up with this TV show on our old black-and-white TV, and always wondered why everyone thought it was funny.
Now I see this re-imagining of Lucy and Desi and am once again . . . not laughing, and certainly not wasting any more time with this. 20% of this garbage was too much time to waste.
370 people found this helpful
Ron VincentReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A portrayal of an incandescently talented couple
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Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem deliver performances that you will remember long after watching the film. The movie chooses to begin with the Monday table read of I Love Lucy coupled with an accusation by Walter Winchell that Lucy is a communist. Bardem and Kidman generate an absorbing chemistry and the supporting cast delivers crisp, convincing performances. Aaron Sorkin’s script doesn’t waste a word. Lucy was a tough, insightful lady and Desi loved her and was maddening at the same time.
A movie worth rewatching. I loved this film about Lucy.
210 people found this helpful
jbeth777Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Missed the high mark - sadly
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Any redhead does not Lucy make. We know Kidman, no one new? And Bardem's Desi - needless to say, is completely miscast, for like,100 reasons, including his AGE. Like West Side Story, Hollywood miscasts a classic. Nina - Vivian - is adored (Richard Jewell), though she's young. But it's Fred and writer Madalyn who give the movie any credibility. Only Hollywood thinks it makes sense to produce a fake documentary doubling down on 2 sets of completely miscast characters, younger AND older. Had they just cast the leads well and let them all do their thing on this well documented history, we'd be in classics heaven. We actually see little great show moments and near none of Desi's musicality. FYI, Ball IS incredible in The Big Street - a true revelation. However, she'll always be comedy genius.
230 people found this helpful
linda galellaReviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
More serious than I expected but
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an interesting look at a very tense week in the life of Lucy, Ricky and the entire cast & crew of I Love Lucy.

There was nothing quite so iconic as I Love Lucy. It regularly had 60 million viewers on Monday nights - 4 times greater than most hit shows today. It was appointment television for America that reached around the world.

BEING THE RICARDOS takes us behind the scenes to view the day by day process for putting this 30 minute, weekly, episodic masterpiece on the air. There’s been a bunch of hoopla over the casting. Neither Kidman nor Bardem look much like Lucy or Desi but they do get the essence of the off screen people. It felt honest to me. On the other hand, seeing them inserted into famous scenes from the television show was a little bit of a let down.

Two actors that were not a let down were JK Simmons and Nina Arianda as the ubiquitous Fred and Ethel Mertz. They are spectacular in these roles. Watching their relationship to each other was good but their individual relationships with Lucy was more interesting. Fred has an integral role in keeping the peace; not something I would have expected.

There are political issues involved. Lucy in accused of being a Communist. It’s a big arc in the movie and solved in an inspiring way. There isn’t any snark or posturing for contemporary events, thank heavens!

In the same week that Lucy is accused of being a Communist, the studio is challenged to deal with her pregnancy on screen. This is a big deal for Standards & Practices at this time in history. We all know now who won the negotiations but it’s still interesting to see the behind the scenes action.

Much more is included in this 2+ hour film including a poignant ending which will cause you to think completely differently next time you hear Ricky say: “Lucy, I’m home!”🍿
180 people found this helpful
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