Behind the Candelabra
4.1Overall Score

For the longest time, this movie was on my To-Do List on HBO Go and tonight on my 32nd birthday, I decided to watch it….and I can already claim that it was a good decision.

Already in the first 15 minutes, the “gayness” of this movie is quite open but I have to say it is absolutely awesome. Without knowing anything about Liberace and his story, I still did enjoy this movie a ton. In the first half of this movie, I was mostly impressed with the acting of Michael Douglas. He truly shows what kind of a versatile and courageous actor he is by taking on the role of such a “controversial” figure. As the movie progresses, Matt Damon’s character is getting better and better. When first starting to watch this movie the comparison with Brokeback Mountain (as the first big production portraying the love between two male characters) is pretty obvious. This story however was so much more riveting and interesting; granted that it portrayed a different timeline and “framework”. And regardless of that, I was just so much more entertained and vested than I was when watching Brokeback Mountain. Soderbergh portrays the a love story between two male leads but it is ultimately “just” a love story and despite the pretty graphic love scenes, he never rubs it in your face. A big personal highlight for me was also to finally see Dan Aykroyd back on screen, it feels like forever since he has been in a big(ish) movie production.

All the great acting aside, this movie also tells a very interesting story about the last years of one of the (apparently) greatest entertainers of our times (which I recommend browsing through during the movie). Even more interesting – and maybe controversial than that – is the story behind Matt Damon’s character Scott Thorson. All that combined in a wonderfully crafted movie with great costumes, fantastic colors and very well executed character development adds up to an absolutely excellent saturday night entertainment. After watching this movie and learning that both Douglas and Damon basically took no money for this movie (which is just a wonderful piece of art) makes me like and respect them so much more. It is really a shame that Hollywood would deny financing this movie for being “too gay”. Looking at the horrendous crap which receives millions of dollars of production budget, this (not so hidden) gem would have truly deserved some money, and I’m sure Michael Douglas would have gotten at least a well-deserved shot for an Oscar nomination.

If you get a chance to watch it, it is really worth it and I highly recommend it.

The Good

  • Douglas and Damon in one of their all-time best performances
  • Incredibly good movie for the low budget
  • Entertaining throughout the whole movie

The Bad

  • Why did Hollywood not pick this one up – and instead shoot White House Down and Olympus has Fallen in one year?


  • Running time: 119 min
  • Genre: Drama, Biopic
  • Year: 2013

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