7.0/10
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168 user 265 critic

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

TV-MA | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 7 June 2013 (UK)
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A chronicle of the tempestuous six year romance between megastar singer, Liberace, and his young lover, Scott Thorson.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Scott Thorson (book) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 41 wins & 49 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Scott Thorson
Scott Bakula ... Bob Black
Eric Zuckerman ... Lou
Eddie Jemison ... Assistant Director
Randy Lowell ... Director
Tom Roach Tom Roach ... Stunt Actor
Shamus Cooley Shamus Cooley ... Camera Assistant
John Smutny John Smutny ... Sound Mixer
Jane Morris ... Rose Carracappa
Garrett M. Brown ... Joe Carracappa
Michael Douglas ... Liberace
Pat Asanti ... George Liberace
Debbie Reynolds ... Frances Liberace
Casey Kramer ... Dora Liberace
Cheyenne Jackson ... Billy Leatherwood
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful"


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Liberace See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot over a period of 30 days. See more »

Goofs

At Liberace's funeral the Catholic priest says "the Lord be with you" and the congregation answers "and with your spirit." In 1987, the year Liberace died, the response was "and also with you." It didn't change to "and with your spirit" until about 20 years later. See more »

Quotes

Liberace: I want to be everything to you, Scott. I want to be father, brother, lover, best friend.
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Soundtracks

Tico Tico
Written by Zequinha de Abreu (as Zequinha Abreu) and Ervin Drake
Piano Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Finally a film that suits Soderbergh's voyeuristic and clinical style.
11 September 2013 | by Sergeant_TibbsSee all my reviews

It's starting to look like 2013 is Soderbergh's year. Side Effects and Behind The Candelabra seem to be my favourite of his career so far, though that's only relatively, as I'm not a big fan of him. I do have Out Of Sight on my to see list coming up soon and I do need to give Traffic another watch before I make any final assessment on him. Although Soderbergh is frequently the director, cinematography and editor on his projects, he may be efficient but he's far too clinical, pushing the audience as an observer that it's difficult to feel emotionally involved in his films. I can't get excited for his half-baked premises that most likely haven't been fulfilled to their potential. However, Behind The Candelabra may be the first film I've seen of his that suits his style ideally. His style is still distant and voyeuristic, but in this bizarre world where Liberace adopts his lover for a son and pays for plastic surgery to make him look like himself, it feels more deliberate to keep us at a distance.

Instead, the scenes of dramatic conflict, decision and choice are played off for jokes and it's really effective, always earning belly laughs with its brilliant one-liners without feeling like it's silly. Perhaps its nervous laughter but it makes for an entertaining and interesting film. Michael Douglas is terrific as Liberace. I've never seen him take a character on like this. He's nearly up there with Sean Penn's Milk. It feels like it's been a while since Matt Damon has been in films I've wanted to watch and with this and Elysium, I've forgotten how reliable a lead he is. The characters inhabit a flashy world, but its kept on the costumes and sets which are incidental more than anything and the style of the film is kept subtle, besides a great choice of swooping cameras. It does have its flaws with nearly soap opera-esque structure and conflict but my expectations were very low so this is a pleasant surprise. I think I even prefer it to Side Effects.

7/10


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