Behind the Candelabra
is a TV movie starring
Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, and Scott Bakula.
A chronicle of the tempestuous six year romance between megastar singer, Liberace, and his young lover, Scott Thorson.
Scott Thorson, a young bisexual man raised in foster homes, is introduced to flamboyant entertainment giant Liberace and quickly finds himself in a romantic relationship with the legendary pianist. Swaddled in wealth and excess, Scott and Liberace have a long affair, one that eventually Scott begins to find suffocating. Kept away from the outside world by the flashily effeminate yet deeply closeted Liberace, and submitting to extreme makeovers and even plastic surgery at the behest of his lover, Scott eventually rebels. When Liberace finds himself a new lover, Scott is tossed on the street. He then seeks legal redress for what he feels he has lost. But throughout, the bond between the young man and the star never completely tears.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the 2018 Live from the TCM Film Festival special, Douglas revealed that Steven Soderbergh first brought up that Douglas should play pianist Liberace while they were filming the movie Traffic (2000) together. Douglas later played the real life person in a 2013 HBO telefilm. See more »
At the funeral Mass at the film's end, the congregation's response to the priest's opening liturgical greeting "The Lord be with You" is .."and with your spirit". This is a well known change made recently. The funeral takes place in 1987 where the liturgical response would still have been, "And also with you." See more »
For a film about a gay relationship - I had my doubts when I discovered the two male leads were to be played by straight men, but I couldn't be more convinced by their on-screen personas.
The kitch was eye-wateringly OTT, Douglas superbly needy yet controlling and Damon sucked into the whole charade. Rob Lowe's performance had me recoiling with his creepiness/plastic surgery face and it couldn't be farther from his more mainstream performances. For a role that appeared for only a few minutes - it stuck with me long after the film was over.
All in all, a very solid biopic film that unfortunately won't be Oscared as its been shown as TV movie in the USA. A great shame - Douglas and Damon deserve nominations - their *chemistry* is totally believable.
Final point - either Douglas is a superb pianist or the CGI of his hands on the keyboard is first rate!
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