(2021)

A story behind one of the most influential shows of all time.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

I vaguely recall watching "I Love Lucy" - or perhaps I just recall that memorable theme tune, but I have to say I knew nothing at all about the "Desilu" couple before watching this. As ever, it has Sorkin's trademark dialogue - quickly paced, pithy at times; but somehow the performances just didn't catch fire. Kidman is a very versatile actress, she can turn her hand to just abut anything - but for this to have worked better, she would have needed a more convincing foil. Javier Bardem just isn't him. Their lively relationship is suggested rather than demonstrated and much of what made them the US household names they were is, again, just taken for granted. Their domestic status as super-stars was not replicated globally, and yet little time is spent trying to explain to those less familiar just who they were and why they were so popular. JK Simmons is effective as their co-star "Bill Frawley" and all told it is a watchable biopic, but for me it looked more like a labour of love for an auteur who was maybe just a bit too close to the subject matter, and who made assumptions that the rest of us would be also. It looks great, has a ping at the Communist witch-hunt apparatus in place at the time, but is all just to shallow for me. I bet there is a proper, deep-drama, to be made about this pair, though - just not this film.

Amazon Studios, Big Indie Pictures, Escape Artists by Aaron Sorkin.
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons.

Genres: Biography, Drama

Keywords: show business biography marriage based on true story interracial marriage hollywood showbiz 1950s television star

12/21/2021

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