starring Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda
written and directed by Aaron Sorkin
by Walter Chaw One of the best home viewing experiences I ever had was going through New Line's "Infinifilm" DVD of Roger Donaldson's Thirteen Days with my wife, clicking on every single prompt to view the voluminous supplementary material threaded through the picture and getting what felt like a freshman-level introductory course on the 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. An old and dear friend here in the Denver Market threw his hands up while we were talking about Aaron Sorkin's Being the Ricardos and asked, rhetorically and not to an imaginary Sorkin, "Why Aaron Sorkin?" It's a great question. I think the "why Aaron Sorkin" is that he is the human manifestation of the "Infinifilm" concept but less educational and more facile and self-indulgent, hence populist in the worst way. That is, populist in a way that seems prestigious but is, in fact, playing to the groundlings-infested pit. Emboldened perhaps by the success of the David Fincher-directed/Sorkin-scripted The Social Network and the Bennett Miller-directed/Sorkin-co-scripted Moneyball, Sorkin's directorial efforts so far--Molly's Game, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and now Being the Ricardos--have all been based on true stories. Maybe he figures he's hit a rich vein of biopic dramaturgy that he can strip-mine until this mountain is just a pile of rubble littered with Oscars. Sorkin is a slick one-trick pony, that guy. Giddyup, cowboys.