BEING THE RICARDOS Review — DON’T LOOK UP Review
Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Being the Ricardos review and Don’t Look Up review give you the scoop on two of the biggest A-List packed movies of the year.
Being the Ricardos Review
Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball, in a movie written by Aaron Sorkin that’s not about politics, but a beloved TV sitcom? I couldn’t help but wonder how this apparent fish out of water project could ever work.
Kidman has played many wispy characters with soft voices of late, but then I started thinking back to Hemingway & Gellhorn, where she exhibited strength, grit and excellent prosthetics. I also found out that this was not a film about a zany Lucy Ricardo, but Sorkin’s script covers a tension-fraught time when almost everyone involved with the series had something at risk. This just might work, I conceded.
And it does. It truly does. Of course, Javier Bardem as Ricky Ricardo has a lot to do with that — his Ricky bats away rumors of infidelity and stands by his woman, in a way that seems almost too good to be true. (Spoiler alert — it is…kinda)
Meanwhile, Lucy must face accusations of communism during the McCarthy era, try to convince the powers that be that she can pull off being the first woman to appear on television pregnant and set a high bar for comedy on the show, all while refereeing spats between writers, producers, and especially William Frawley (Fred, J.K. Simmons) Vivian Vance (Ethel, Nina Arianda), who hated each other in real life.
It’s a complicated, compacted, week in the lives, and that’s were Sorkin’s true talent comes into play. His eloquent words on the page, as well as his deft directing, pull it all together into one highly entertaining film.
2 Hours 5 Minutes
Does this Being the Ricardos review make it seem cineplex worthy? If so, it opens December 10— get times and tickets at Fandango.com. Or wait until it streams on Amazon Prime, December 21.
Don’t Look Up Review
The cast alone is enough to make you run to the movie theater:
- Jennifer Lawrence as the doctoral candidate who discovers an Everest sized comet hurtling towards the earth, reaching impact and global destruction in six months
- Leonardo DiCaprio as a nerdy Michigan astronomy professor who sets out to help her warn the world
- Meryl Streep as the U.S. President who is more interested in saving her reputation than in saving the planet
- Jonah Hill as her snarky, sycophantic son
- Mark Rylance as a tech titan, a quirky blend of Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Mr. Rogers (his performance is my favorite)
- Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry as a pair of all too perky morning show hosts who giggle and gloss over the bad news the academics bring
- Arianda Grande as (what else?) a pop star who performs the obligatory ballad about the world ending
- Ron Perlman as a gruff, over the hill astronaut charged with piloting a rocket that will destroy the comet
- Rob Morgan as the only government official with any sense
- Timothée Chalamet as a spiritual skater dude…
The list goes on and on, with a little someone for everyone. Writer/director/producer Adam McKay’s deft casting and razor sharp script is outrageously funny, unless you’re aware enough to see yourself parodied, in which case you may even enjoy being bitten in the asterisk.
You can’t help but think of this being a Dr. Strangelove for the 21st century, and in the end, the film’s multiple messages, first and foremost being LISTEN TO SCIENCE can’t help but hit home.
If only, like a good mini skirt, it were a bit tighter, a bit shorter. Clocking in at two hours and 20 minutes, the rapid fire quips get a little exhausting — they could have easily made their points in about 40 minutes less.
But alas, that seems to be the way of Hollywood these days. You should know by now not to buy the super-sized soft drink.
2 Hours 18 Minutes