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Behind the Candelabra [Blu-ray]
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Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace--infamous pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship and extravagance, he lit up every stage he performed on, as bright as his candelabras and with a unique flair that gained him millions of devoted fans across the globe.
In the summer of 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into Liberace’s dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds, the two embarked on a secretive five-year love affair. To the outside world Scott was an employee, at most a friend, but behind closed doors his life with Liberace was an intense rollercoaster of hedonistic fun, flamboyance and excess.
Starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Behind The Candelabra tells the fascinating true story of their glamorous life together and their tempestuous relationship--from the glitz and glamour of the early days in Las Vegas to their very bitter and public break-up.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I first heard Michael Douglas had been cast as arch showman Liberace (someone I remember on TV from my youth) I thought what inspired casting it was. What I didn`t suspect was just how moving and believable an impression of the man he would give.
Liberace was as camp as they come, and a very closeted gay man in an America not quite ready to embrace such a concept, particularly someone whose persona was that of an unthreatening, cosy, mildly outrageous middle-of-the-road entertainer. Things evidently haven`t come that far, as director Steven Soderbergh couldn`t get funding from the studios for a feature film (too overtly gay, apparently!) so his project became a TV movie, though you`d never know it, such is the lustre of the finished film he managed to make, despite the puerile queasiness of American sensibilities even now.
What is so effective about Douglas`s considered performance is that, rather than overplay his hand, making an already flamboyant, often flippant man into a vapid caricature - which is what I`d feared - he in fact underplays, to great effect, leaving the script, sets, costumes - oh, the costumes! - to go OTT, while he allows us to see the real man `behind the candelabra`. It`s an intelligent decision, which repays great dividends.
I`ve rarely seen Douglas so relaxed in a role. Like his dad, he`s quite an intense actor, and can be a showy one, so the fact that he reins it in here is to be applauded.
Matt Damon, as his younger lover Scott Thorson, on whose memoir the film is based, is a revelation. We are used to seeing Damon in buttoned-up, self-contained, rather unsmiling roles - from Ripley to Bourne - but here he lets rip, and then some!Read more ›
Michael Douglas too is on fine form as the man himself, displaying the voice and the mannerisms of the flamboyant entertainer to a tee.
It's a `rise and fall' tale of love that was probably doomed from the start. It's based on the `kiss and tell' book that Thorson wrote once Liberace had died, so we only have his word on it that this is the `truth.' But, truth or not, it's an entertaining piece of tragic drama that allows both him and Douglas to put in some stellar performances.
It probably isn't for everyone. If you look at internet message boards, you'll see a fair few people who found it `overly gay' in subject matter. However, if that sort of thing offends you, you really shouldn't even be considering watching a semi-biopic about a gay couple's life.
Before Elvis Presley, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace the infamous pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship and extravagance, he lit up every stage he performed on, as bright as his candelabras and with a unique flair that gained him millions of devoted fans across the globe.
From Academy Award® winning director Steven Soderbergh of ‘Behind The Candelabra' is the outrageous and gloriously entertaining true story of Liberace [Michael Douglas] and his secret love affair with the young and handsome Scott Thorson [Matt Damon] who have an intense rollercoaster ride of hedonistic fun, flamboyance and excess.
FILM FACT: At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Baby Boy, a dog that appeared in the film as one of Liberace's pet poodles, won the Palm Dog Award. This is not an official part of the festival but takes place at the same time. `Behind the Candelabra' won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Movie or Miniseries and T.C.A. [Television Critics Association] Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, and Specials. The film won Eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for Michael Douglas. British Academy Film Awards: Matt Damon for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Richard LaGravenese for Best Adapted Screenplay. Best Production Design. Best Costume Design. Best Makeup and Hair
Cast: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Eric Zuckerman, Eddie Jemison, Randy Lowell, Tom Roach, Shamus Cooley, John Smutny, Jane Morris, Garrett M.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a little bit weird watching Michael Douglas and Matt Damon kissing each other but the story requires it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by PereJota
A very daring movie by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, acting in an alien role for both of them, which they acted superbly. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. B. Richardson
This is a brilliant film, emotional and funny with excellent performances from Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.Published 3 months ago by James T