‘Lucy and Desi’ Film Review

January 26, 2022
“Lucy and Desi” film, photo courtesy Sundance Institute

The other morning I watched through Sundance Film Festival’s website the documentary Lucy and Desi directed by Amy Poehler. It was outstanding. The producers had great access to the families and also previously undiscovered tapes in Lucy’s voice where she talks about her life and work. Lucy and Desi through their TV shows, movies, and Desilu Studios had an enormous influence on early television, right on through the later years. This documentary is a well-presented, thoughtful, and wonderfully straightforward approach to this fascinating couple, and especially Lucy throughout her eventful and influential life and career.

Both Lucy and Desi started with nothing, and through hard work, discipline, the ability to take chances, smarts, and sheer elbow grease, became the icons we know them to be. Lucy also later in life helped numerous women comics such as Carol Burnett, Bette Midler, Joan Rivers, and many others become the talents we know and love today.

Lucy’s influence on modern comedy and show business cannot be overestimated. Fortunately for us, Ms. Poehler said in the Q and A afterwards that she enjoys directing documentaries and had a wonderful time working with Imagine Entertainment (Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s production company). We are likely in for more gems from Ms. Poehler, which would be great.  Even Lucie Arnez, Lucy and Desi’s daughter who worked intimately with the filmmakers on this documentary said at the end of the Q and A “You did a great job, Ms. Poehler!”

Sundance Film Festival runs online this year through Sunday, 1/30/22. Visit sundance.org for more information and tickets.

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