Review: Behind The Candelabra

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: Behind The Candelabra

It’s the awards season and here’s the type of film that is award material. The life of Mr Liberace –  I am just old enough to remember watching his specials on tv and stare in amazement at the rings and furs etc that he wore as he sat and deftly played the piano before him.

Steven Soderbergh’s film takes us behind the candelabra that stood graciously on the grand piano as he played and shows us another side to the fame and fortune and how Liberace really lived or so we are told through the eyes of Scott Thorson – his lover of 4 years. Yes, lover as Liberace was gay although that doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Is this a film about how fame destroys, what people will do to have just a small slither of the fame and glory shine on them or just of a lonely man looking for love?  In essence it is all of these and so much more.

The film starts with Liberace at the height of his fame already with another lover and we see how he treats his first lover, throws him out like a piece of trash to make way for Scott. Later, we’re shown how Scott will do anything to hold onto Liberace so much so as enduring plastic surgery and its’ consequences to his own identity. There is a wonderful cameo appearance by Rob Lowe as the plastic surgeon and he steals the scene every time he is on screen.

Michael Douglas takes on the role of Liberace showing him as multi-faceted as the diamond rings he wore. Matt Damon plays Scott and the author of Behind the Candelabra showing his early naivety, hubris and descent all whilst wearing tighter shorts and flasher eye shadow.

Certainly an interesting film well played and a cautionary tale for those seeking fame and fortune or it’s off cuts. Rent it now on dvd to see Michael Douglas’s 2014 Golden Globe award winning performance.

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