Liberace biopic ‘Behind the Candelabra’, swept up at Sunday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards. Made for cable TV channel HBO, it is to be the final film of director Steven Soderbergh.
Based on the book ‘Behind the Candelabra: My life with Liberace’, the story is told from the perspective of Scott Thorson - Liberace’s former lover who famously had plastic surgery to resemble him. It spans a ten year period from 1977 and documents Scott’s relationship with Liberace and the personal highs and lows leading up to the pianist’s death from AIDS in 1987.
Scott is played by Matt Damon and Liberace is played by Michael Douglas. They succeed at making a very believable couple, which helps add to the films realism.
Douglas’ performance, which won him an ‘Outstanding Lead Actor’ Emmy (one of 11 awards the film received), is an amazing character study. He is phenomenal as Liberace, matching Liberace’s mannerisms to a tee and even performing piano duties himself. Through prosthetics, Douglas begins to look more like Liberace as the years go on – one example of the film’s amazing attention to detail. The film, which took 13 years to make, is quite close to a masterpiece and among the best biopics I’ve ever seen.
It will be available on DVD on October 14th.