Tag Archives: Being the Ricardos

DAY 6 ~ COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS ~ BEST ACTRESS

Here we are at Day 6 of my “Countdown to the Oscars” ~ probably for me at least, the hardest category to judge this year. The category here is just filled to the brim of fantastic performances and I wish they could all win..well..minus one. ha!
Reminder: I’m giving who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick – because they aren’t always necessarily the same!! And the nominees are:

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

NOMINEES

JESSICA CHASTAINThe Eyes of Tammy Faye WINNER

Jessica Chastain is brilliant here – she encaptures Tammy Faye like no other. While the film as a whole was not great, you can pluck out this performance for the brilliance that it is. Jessica has long deserved this award, let’s see if the Academy thinks so as well.

OLIVIA COLMANThe Lost Daughter

Oliva Colman is such a wonderful actress and has deservedly won this award in the past – this however, is not her finest performance, nor is it truly and Oscar-winning one. I don’t doubt that Olivia will be nominated in this category again in the future though.

PENÉLOPE CRUZParallel Mothers MY PICK

Penelope Cruz is undeniable in this performance. She’s an actress who not only gets better and better with age, but she is undeniably better when directed in her native language and of course, when directed by Pedro Almodóvar. He know how to bring out the best in her as she brings her entire life to this performance. I can’t say I see her winning, but yes, she is hands down my pick.

NICOLE KIDMANBeing the Ricardos

Surprising us all this year was Nicole Kidman pulling off a good Lucille Ball. Something that must have been a daunting task to undertake. While they only focused on one week in her life, Nicole gave that one week her all. I just don’t see her taking it here with the kind of competition she is up against.

KRISTEN STEWARTSpencer

Yes, I know the hype, yes, I know she has a huge fan base. I came into this film hoping Stewart would change my mind as going in a lot of people were raving about it, but I just didn’t love ‘Spencer.’ And she didn’t change my mind. I could list the many reasons, but I won’t, be her fanbase is rabid and they come for you, and I don’t feel like dealing with that. I do hope that sometime in the future she can change my mind and I will leave it at that.  

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DAY 5 ~ COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS ~ BEST ACTOR

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Here we are – Day Five of my ‘SEVEN DAYS OF OSCARS’ countdown and we are at ‘Best Actor”. Once again I give who I think will win – and what my pick would be – as those two choices sometimes differ. The only thing I can add here is it is a crying shame that Jude Hill was not nominated in this category as that young man deserved to be here. But alas here we are – Will Smith might just be the winner here as he is so good in “King Richard.” But hot on his heels will be Andrew Garfield.

NOMINEES

JAVIER BARDEMBeing the Ricardos

As much as I love Javier – this isn’t his movie to win this award on.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCHThe Power of the Dog

I remember a few weeks before this movie came out, one of those ‘know it all’ movie people told me they already knew who was going to win the Oscar and it was going to be Benedict. While I find him a good actor, I never find him able to pull off accents and that was again, my issue here – along with the fact being I never once believed he was a cowboy.

ANDREW GARFIELDtick, tick…BOOM! VERY POSSIBLE WINNER

Andrew is honestly in a tie with Will here – I know many that hope, wish and will lose sleep if he doesn’t. What he does do is manages to make this whole film work, as I honestly didn’t know much about Jonathan Larson before this film. Go for it Andrew – give us an upset.  

WILL SMITHKing Richard WINNER/MY PICK

The minute I saw Will Smith as Richard Williams, I couldn’t believe how he picked up the nuances of the man so well. Being an avid tennis fan for YEARS now, I’ve seen the man be exactly who is was in the film, in person. And they left a lot on the sidewalk as well. Granted Smith should’ve won for Ali – but this, this is his Oscar to win.

DENZEL WASHINGTONThe Tragedy of Macbeth

How do you ignore Denzel in anything? Answer is: you don’t. Though Macbeth in and of itself, is not an exciting play to watch – Denzel does give it his take. I just don’t think it’s going to be enough to walk away with the statue this year.

Thanks all for taking the time to give my countdown a read. Let me know your thoughts on if you agree or disagree with my picks. Don’t forget to give this page a follow or on twitter as well https://twitter.com/pegsatthemovies IG: https://www.instagram.com/peggyatthemovies/

DAY 2 ~ COUNTDOWN TO THE OSCARS ~ “BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR”

Day 2 of the countdown ~ And remember, this is a category known for going to the most random of choices, except this year I think we have a ‘given’
Reminder: I’m giving who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick. And the nominees are:

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES

CIARÁN HINDS – Belfast

Ciaran Hinds is just one of those actors – the kind that holds the screen with everything he does – and he’s always wonderful at it. No less so in Belfast here – he was wonderful.

TROY KOTSUR – CODA WINNER/MY PICK

What can you say about Troy Kotsur that hasn’t already been said? Nothing, that’s what. It’s not just a spectacular performance – it’s also that he’s just so darn nice and the pure joy and seeing him win awards makes your entire day.

JESSE PLEMONS – The Power of the Dog

When The Power of the Dog first came out and people were over looking the brilliance of Jesse’s performance, I was right there calling it out for what it was – wonderful. The understated brilliance of it is exactly what makes. Plemmons most definitely deserves to be here.

J.K. SIMMONS – Being the Ricardos

You’d be hard pressed to find a bad J.K. Simmons performance – and there is a reason for that. He gives it his all every time.

KODI SMIT-MCPHEE – The Power of the Dog

While I might not love The Power of the Dog as a whole, I do like it, and the reason I liked it a lot was because of this guy right here: Kodi Smit-McPhee. He was incredible, subtly making you think one thing of his character, all the while making you pay attention to what he was really doing. The ending scene sealed the deal for me – you can’t be mad if wins this one.

REVIEW: “BEING THE RICARDOS” (2021) Amazon Studios

“Luuuuuucy… I’m Home.”

Probably one of the most timeless, classic lines that is still uttered today. But behind the scenes of not only the “I Love Lucy” show itself, but the marriage between Lucy and Desi itself, was a very tumultuous relationship. This is the story of one week in the lives of these two larger than life characters known worldwide then, and still today.

So let’s get the elephant out of the room right off. Nicole Kidman does not look like Lucille Ball. Javier Bardem does not look like Desi Arnaz. Whether you choose to overlook this and instead concentrate on the performances and story itself, is up to each individual watching Being the Ricardos”. As well, it was nothing as I thought it would be, hence Being the Ricardos is not a funny comedy like the show was, and while yes, it’s hard to fathom a film about Ball that isn’t at least accidentally a bit funny, Sorkin’s biopic instead, focuses his lens on the couple through one particular tumultuous week in their lives as a married couple, their very well known marital problems, as well as being co-TV superstars. And we can also be honest enough to say “should seen it coming” as comedy is not really Sorkin’s bag.

As for Lucy herself – well she was at the time, Hollywood’s most bankable comic genius. Ball was the biggest TV star on earth, a massive moneymaking machine whose eye for physical comedy was like no other. Those working on the then biggest soundstage at the infamous Desilu Studios, in the writers room around her — Co-stars Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda), William Frawley (J.K. Simmons), Jess Oppenheimer (Tony Hale), Madelyn Pugh (Alia Shawkat) and a bland Bob Carroll (Jake Lacy), who contribute to a fractured work dynamic that is on the verge of collapse due to a leaked news story about Lucy being a member of the Communist Party. On top of that, pictures of Desi appeared front page of the biggest of all tabloids at the time, the Confidential, with another woman. And to add the icing to the cake, Lucy is pregnant and both her and Desi want to televise her pregnancy as part of the show – something that just wasn’t done in those times. These were the days when married couples still had separate beds on TV. So a very big deal indeed.

JAVIER BARDEM, J.K. SIMMONS, NINA ARIANDA, and NICOLE KDIMAN star in BEING THE RICARDOS Photo: GLEN WILSON © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

While writer-director Aaron Sorkin places three different events in the same week – but did they take all actually take place during the same week? Not really knowing much about all the events of the time, doing a little research paid off in droves to find out the following points of fact:

Point #1. The Walter Winchell accusation about Lucille Ball being a Communist took place on September 6, 1953. This accusation is what kicks off the events in the film.

Point #2. Lucille’s second pregnancy with her and Desi’s son, Desi Arnaz Jr. who was actually born on January 19, 1953. This would make the pregnancy announcement actually being made at some point around July of 1952.

Point #3. Desi’s cheating scandal plastered on the front of Confidential tabloid as the magazine was considered to be THE gossip magazine of the 1950’s – well, yes, they did run an article about Desi cheating on Lucy. The film implies the photo was from six months before, but the truth is that the affair had happened many years before. The article also ran as the cover story of the January 1955 issue versus the same week as everything above was listed.

JAVIER BARDEM and NICOLE KIDMAN star in BEING THE RICARDOS Photo: GLEN WILSON © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

So all this has of course been taken the liberty of making it all more intense of a week than what probably really happened. Look, there’s no denial that Lucy and Desi had their marital problems, nor is there any doubt about the complex (to put it nicely) relationship between the two in their private and professional lives. However, Sorkin just tries to combines too many incidents in telling this story and while we all love going behind the scenes of TV and film stories, Being the Ricardos just goes about this the wrong way.

The performances though are all quite on par. Kidman actually really comes through as Ball, even doing one of the most favourited Lucy shows of all time, the stomping of the grapes. Bardem as well, let’s you know that while Lucy is always front and center, he is the true head of the show. Nina Arianda really comes through as Vivian Vance showing how things really were for her as being the side-kick of the show and her resentment of being so much younger than her ‘show husband’. As well, when does J.K. Simmons not come through with a character performance and he does so here on point.

With good performances like these they could have left the taking of liberties with the timeline of the story itself seem unnecessary and might have been better served if staying a little more to the actual true timeline it really was, rather than trying to push making a tense drama of it all happening at once. In essence a more cohesive biographical telling of the story of such icons would have been enough.

Grade: C+

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Review Screening ~ Courtesy of Ginsberg/Libby PR

BEING THE RICARDOS opens in theaters Friday, December 10th and debuts on Amazon Prime Video December 21, 2021.