Behind the Candelabra is a lavish mix of fantastical sets, over the top costumes and true story. Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, playing pianist/vocalist/showman Liberace and his gay lover, Scott Thorson, show their acting prowesses in difficult roles.
This beautiful production is brought to us by pedigree director Steven Soderbergh, who is also responsible for Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), Erin Brockovich (2000), Traffic (2000), Che (2008), Contagion (2011), as well as the horrendous Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen trilogy.
Before watching this film, the only thing I knew about Liberace was that he wore a lot of rings, played the piano, was homosexual, and was the second person – after Rock Hudson – I had heard associated with the strange new word, ‘AIDS’. Now I have an insight into the man, the showman, and his private life. It was a two hours very well spent.
As always, we recommend you don’t ruin any surprises by reading spoilers or watching trailers.
Title: Behind the Candelabra
Direction: Steven Soderbergh
Screenplay: Richard LaGravenese
Based on: Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace; the 1988 memoir by Scott Thorson and Alex Thorleifson
Cinematography: Peter Andrews
Editing: Mary Ann Bernard
Score: Marvin Hamlisch
Stars: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds