Friday, May 24, 2013

Behind the Candelabra: Bling It On!

If Cannes has been a bit of a mixed bag for James Franco's adaptation of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, another adaptation I've been watching out for had a much more uniformly enthusiastic reception. Steven Soderbergh's movie Behind the Candelabra, based on Scott Thorson's memoir of his life with Liberace -Thorson is played by Matt Damon, Michael Douglas is the flamboyant entertainer - has blown most everyone away. Turns out it's the full-on glitz fest everyone expected but critics are just bursting that it works! Liberace was larger than life amplified when he was alive so it stands to reason that  'over the top' as a criticism doesn't apply. And Soderbergh, by all accounts, seems to have managed to capture Liberace's and Scott's time together in an honest and moving film without falling into schtick or caricatures.

Matt Damon and Michael Douglas both turn in powerful performances; Oscar blogger Sasha Stone called it "Soderbergh's best film in years," going on to say "were this movie released in US theaters* there would be Oscar nominations all around. Douglas might have even won his second." 

Major bummer for Michael Douglas his "Oscar-worthy performance" as Liberace isn't eligible because it's a TV movie, but not for us. We get to watch Behind the Candelabra when it airs this Sunday, May 26th at 9pm EST.*  I know what I'll be doing Sunday night. What about you? Maybe this trailer will help you decide; it's razzle dazzle drama.

* Good news for the UK - the film is being released in cinemas there on June 7th.


Behind the Candelabra Trailer


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