Behind the Candelabra
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Behind the Candelabra
Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace: virtuoso pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship, extravagance and candelabras, he was a world-renowned performer with a flair that endeared him to his audiences and created a loyal fan base spanning his 40-year career. Liberace lived lavishly and embraced a lifestyle of excess both on and off stage. In summer 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into his dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's both a romp and uncomfortably real."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"The stunning and quite intimate performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are award-worthy."
‑ Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post
"As deeply entertaining and creative as it is socially enlightening."
‑ Richard Knight, Windy City Times
"Michael Douglas transforms himself into the Las Vegas entertainer with style and, most of all, believability. Liberace was larger-than-life to say the least, and it would be easy to go the SNL route with a character by painting him with broad strokes."
‑ Paul Chambers, Movie Chambers
"Crammed with garish decor, wild costumes and some unapologetically affected central performances, the final chapter in the life of flamboyant pianist Liberace gets a feisty, full-bodied treatment here."
‑ Jim Schembri, 3AW
"Witty, briskly paced and consistently entertaining."
‑ Jon Frosch, The Atlantic
"The story is told less as a cause-and-effect narrative than as a collection of incidents that add up to something with a crushing emotional weight."
‑ Todd VanDerWerff , AV Club
"Douglas seems to be having fun playing such a flaming swishy character and hams it up."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Soderbergh and LaGravenese go deep beneath this voyeuristic fascination with wealth, fame, and the secret lives of celebrities."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"With a lovely musical score by Marvin Hamlisch and Douglas and Damon perfectly comfortable with, you know, the gay thing, this is less surprising in its depiction of Liberace as a rampant queen than its authorised view of him as a complete bastard."
‑ David 'Mad Dog' Bradley, Rip It Up
"Buffed to a typical HBO high gloss, Candelabra is a visual feast. It shines brightest in those moments where it captures the rhythms of a relationship in its first blush of affection and its seemingly inevitable collapse."
‑ Robert Bianco, USA Today
"This is one of the strangest and strongest TV movies in memory."
‑ David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Douglas made his name playing powerful, morally questionable men, and this is a clever addition to the canon."
‑ Matt Glasby,
"One of [Soderbergh's] strengths is in the way he subverts traditional narratives and finds interesting moments that other directors wouldn't think twice about."
‑ Glenn Dunks, Glenn Dunks
"Michael Douglas turns in a charming performance as Liberace."
‑ Matthew Toomey, ABC Radio Brisbane
More reviews for Behind the Candelabra on Rotten Tomatoes