Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including Steven Spielberg’s finger-snapping remake of “West Side Story,” the Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence satire “Don’t Look Up” and the story of one very bad week in the lives of Lucy and Desi in “Being the Ricardos.”
Can Richard Crouse review three movies in just thirty seconds? Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about Steven Spielberg’s much ballyhooed remake of “West Side Story,” the dark satire “Don’t Look Up” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as Lucy and Desi in “Being the Ricardos.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Steven Spielberg’s finger-snapping remake of “West Side Story,” the Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence satire “Don’t Look Up” and the story of one very bad week in the lives of Lucy and Desi in “Being the Ricardos.”
Richard joins Jim Richards and guest host Tamara Cherry of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today they play a round of Did Richard Crouse Like These Movies? We review Steven Spielberg’s finger-snapping remake of “West Side Story,” the Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence satire “Don’t Look Up” and the story of one very bad week in the lives of Lucy and Desi in “Being the Ricardos.” For the boozy portion of the show we talk about the drink “Sex and the City” made famous.
Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Akshay Tandon to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, the star-studded “Don’t Look Up” and the story of one very bad week in the lives of Lucy and Desi in “Being the Ricardos.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, the star-studded “Don’t Look Up” and the story of one very bad week in the lives of Lucy and Desi in “Being the Ricardos.”
“Being the Ricardos,” the new Aaron Sorkin directed look at the most famous television couple of the 1950s, in theaters this weekend and on Prime Video December 21, is a character study that examines one very bad week on the sitcom set of “I Love Lucy.”
In 1953 “I Love Lucy” was watched by 60 million people a week. The show was so popular that department stores had to change their hours. The big box stores used to stay open late on Mondays but switched to Thursdays because no one shopped on Monday nights while Lucy, Desi, Fred and Ethel were on.
Real life couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, played in the film by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, are television’s biggest stars as they prepare to shoot episode four of their second season. Tension hangs heavy over the set, the result of two news stories about the couple.
First is Confidential Magazine, a sleazy tabloid that specializes in scandal and exposé journalism, who accuses Desi of having an affair in a lurid article titled “Desi’s Wild Night Out.” More damningly, another report suggests Lucy is a communist, under investigation by the FBI and the House Un-American Activities Committee.
The accusation against Desi causes trouble at home but even a whiff of communism around Lucy could lead to a stink that could ruin both their careers. The Hollywood blacklist looms.
“You and me have been through worse than this,” Desi says reassuringly.
“Have we?” she asks.
Set up like a pseudo-documentary, modern day talking heads keep the story moving forward while flashbacks flesh out the action. We learn about how the couple met, their volatile relationship—”They were either tearing each other’s clothes off,” says writer Madelyn Pugh (Linda Lavin), “or tearing one another’s heads off.”—and how the show and Lucy’s perfectionism are more than just a professional concern. “I Love Lucy” was the glue that held her marriage together, especially during troubled times.
It can be tricky portraying familiar figures on screen. Through endless re-runs Lucille Ball’s face and comedy are iconic, but Kidman and Bardem, wisely chose not to do imitations of the stars. They have the mannerisms and a passing resemblance to Lucy and Desi but this is about character not caricature. For the most part this is a backstage drama, and wisely stays away from restaging scenes from “I Love Lucy” that are burned into people’s imaginations. What we get instead are interpretations of these characters that corral their collective charisma, hot tempers and talent.
What emerges is a scattershot portrait of fame, creative control and the power of the press. Sorkin juggles a lot of moving parts, but by the time the end credits roll it’s difficult to know exactly what point he is trying to make. Ball is given the credit she deserves as a trailblazer and Arnaz’s business acumen is celebrated, but the other, colliding plot points feel cobbled together. Any one of them—the communism scare, Desi’s alleged infidelity, Lucy’s pregnancy or the cast in-fighting—could have sufficed as a compelling backdrop to the Lucy and Desi story. Instead, the movie feels overstuffed.
“Being the Ricardos” does justice to the legacy of its subjects, and features pages of Sorkin’s trademarked snappy dialogue, but splinters off in too many directions to be truly effective.
This week on the Pop Life Podcast with Richard Crouse we meet best selling author Darin Strauss. “The Queen of Tuesday,” about Lucille Ball, a thrilling love story starring Hollywood’s first true media mogul, it’s Strauss’s follow-up to the National Book Critics Circle Award winner “Half a Life,” mixes fact and fiction, memoir and novel, to imagine the provocative story of a woman we thought we knew.
Then we ask the Pop Life panel, stand up comedian Debra DiGiovanni, Second City alum Darryl Hinds and Just for Laughs co-founder Andy Nulman, to discuss influences in comedy.
Film critic and pop culture historian Richard Crouse shares a toast with celebrity guests and entertainment pundits every week on CTV News Channel’s talk show POP LIFE.
Featuring in-depth discussion and debate on pop culture and modern life, POP LIFE features sit-down interviews with celebrities from across the entertainment world, including rock legends Sting and Bob Geldof, musicians Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman, comedian Ken Jeong, writer Fran Lebowitz, superstar jazz musician Diana Krall, stand-up comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell, actors Danny DeVito and Jay Baruchel, celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Nigella Lawson, and many more.
From Cineplex.com: It was the first color film to win the Best Picture Oscar and is ranked as one of the greatest movie of all time by the American Film Institute. In its first four years of release the film sold 59.5 million tickets, a number equal to half the population of the United States in 1939 and according to Box Office Mojo it’s the highest grossing film of all time when adjusted for ticket price inflation.
This year Gone with the Wind celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary as “the most iconic film of all time.”
Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, the story of Southern Belle Scarlett O’Hara and her torrid affair with blockade runner Rhett Butler remains so popular it has motivated legions of fans, called Windies, to gather in period costume in author Margaret Mitchell’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia… Read the whole thing HERE!