Review: Behind The Candlelabra

Behind the Candlelabra tells the story of Liberace.

Who’s Liberace some may ask? As the promotion says, before Elvis, before Elton, Before Madonna, Before Gaga – there was Liberace! He was a man as reknowned for his piano talents as much as he was for his extravagance and showmanship. He seemed out there and willing to share his life with the public but that wasn’t always the case.

Liberace’s public persona was that he was a straight man with great love for his mother. Behind the scenes though, yes he did love his mum, but he also loved men. His most intensive relationship was with Scott Thorson.

Behind the Candlelabra picks up from the time Liberace met Scott and takes us through to his death. It is at times a sad and lonely story but also camp and full of laughs.

Any other director could have been tempted to make this the campest, over the top film to hit the screen, but he didn’t. He kept himself, and his cast, in check. There was enough extravagance to capture the essence of who Liberace was. However, Steven Soderberg dared to literally look behind the candlelabra and let the audience get to know the real man.

Michael Douglas is amazing as Liberace. He is Liberace! Watch any clips of the two of them and it is hard to tell the men apart.

Matt Damon is fantastic as Liberace’s younger and sometimes unstable lover. But the man who steals the show is Rob Lowe. Lowe only appears in a few scenes but steals them! His portrayal of plastic surgeon, Dr Jack Startz, is hilarious and scary at the same time.

In the US Behind the Candlelabra was broadcast on HBO as, director Steven Soderberg has publically said, that it was too gay for Hollywood studios. It is unfortunate that Hollywood studios sometimes do not allow themselves to think outside the box, or trust that this is what audiences want to see. Case in point was the fact that this film brought in the highest ratings HBO has had for an original film in ten years (2.4 million).

Irish audiences don’t need to fear missing this though as it is in cinemas now!

Behind the Candlelabra is everything that Liberace was – spectacular, fabulous, extravagant and highly entertaining!

That’s Entertainment!
Sarina 🙂

About The Bellissimo Files

Hi, I’m Sarina Bellissimo and this is the place I come to indulge in my love of all things entertainment. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by all things Hollywood/showbiz. I blame my parents! As a child my mum used to force me to watch old Elvis Presley films with her, and both my mum & dad would take my brothers and I to the Drive-In to watch the latest films (this is where my love for ROCKY began!). When not watching movies, I was trying to figure out ways to pull the back off the TV so I could somehow get into it and be a part of all the action on the screen! This blog isn’t a place that revels in gossip and negativity. It’s a place where entertainment is celebrated. That said, this is a place you can turn to for honesty. Honesty and criticism don’t always mean attacks. I choose to criticise the piece of work but not the person and I acknowledge that just because I don’t like something, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Here you’ll find interviews with some of the biggest names in the world of Entertainment, reviews, breaking news and my very own musings. Away from The Bellissimo Files, you can find me on Spin 1038 on Saturdays, between 1pm and 3pm,presenting Plan B. There’s celebrity interviews, entertainment news, the low down on the must see movies and music releases of the week, the ultimate guide to what’s on where in the city, as well as masterclasses with experts on standby to answer listeners’ questions. I also appear on TV3’s “Elaine” panel, talk movies on “Ireland AM” and you can sometimes hear me filling in on Moncrieff’s “Movies and Booze “(Newstalk) The Bellissimo Files is constantly evolving. Files (topics) will be added or deleted as time goes on. Feel free to read, watch, comment, share, and make suggestions for what you would like to see on the site. Sarina
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