Lucy and Desi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali
The story of Lucille Ball, her relationship with Desi Arnaz, and how their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy forever changed Hollywood, cementing her legacy long after her death in 1989. On Amazon Prime.
This polished and well-crafted new documentary by Amy Poehler, best-known in America mainly for her live comedy and her sketches on Saturday Night Live came highly recommended by critics and friends alike, and after seeing it all, I can see why.
It tells the story of the relationship between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the couple behind one the most influential show in the history of television, I Love Lucy. Something I didn’t think I would be particularly interested in.
Although it obviously does talk about their professional life and their work on the show itself, which at its height outdid the Queen’s coronation or the televised election of the US president in terms of ratings, Poehler is more interested in the relationship between the two of them, through the many ups and downs.
There is a recent interview with Lucy’s daughter, looking back at her parents with great honesty and critical judgment. All of which gives the film the perfect seal of approval.
What really makes it work are some great never-before-seen (or heard) archival footage and recordings, including personal home movies and many candid interviews with Lucy and Desi themselves, which add a layer of great authenticity and real intimacy to the film.
By the time you’ll get to the last ten minutes, you’ll struggle to hold back the tears. I personally lost that struggle, something I never expected when I started watching this.
Lucy and Desi also works as the perfect compendium to the recent Being the Ricardos, the film starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, which I have reviewed and recommended here before (written by Aaron Sorkin and also available on Prime).
It is an insightful and loving tribute to Lucy and Desi, both as a couple, as artists and as individuals, warts and all.
A film I didn’t think I needed to watch, until I did… and loved it.
Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.
Lucy and Desi is available to watch on Amazon Prime.
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See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali
See also: Theatre review – Running with Lions at the Lyric, Hammersmith
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