Just about a week ago, i did a request movie review from one of the readers of my movie blog. The movie chosen to be reviewed was Falling Down. In that review i spoke some about Michael Douglas and some of his classic motion pictures. I know this legendary actor have tried many characters over 40 years. So when i heard he was taking on a true story of legendary music entertainer Liberace. i was pretty shocked. Not in a bad way, i actually thought this was a very smart move from Mr Douglas, to portrait this legend, who lived a life like no one else. Scandals, rumors, lovers. Liberace was a man who lived a wild life. Behind The Candelabra is the story of Liberace, that became a huge tv movie hit on HBO, so they decided to give the movie a chance in Cinemas. Is this one of Michael Douglas best performances in his career or is this another typical tv movie most people will forget ?
In the year 1977, a 17 year old boy Scott Thorson ( Matt Damon ), is working as an animal trainer for movies. At a gay bar, he meets Bob Black ( Scott Bakula ). They begin hanging out, and one day Bob Black take Scott backstage, so he can meet Liberace ( Michael Douglas ) after one of his shows. Liberace fall in love instantly in the young boy. Scott and Liberace become lovers, as Liberace take him to a completely different world, behind showbiz and fame, that Scott have never seen before. But when Liberace offer his plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Startz ( Rob Lowe ) to make Scott look just like Liberace. Scott begin to revolt, who is already stuck in drug problems. Their relationship is becoming more complicated, when Liberace look for other young men, and visit gay pornographic theaters. Scott is ready to end this, but while this becomes a trial issue, Liberace tell the truth that he is infected with AIDS. Just when life could not be more complicated, Scott is about to make his hardest choice in life so far.
If i would tell you, that Michael Douglas has not been this good in any movie, for the last 20 years, you might think i am crazy. Maybe i am, but still Behind The Candelabra is his best motion picture in 20 years, since Falling Down. These are strong words, i know. But i feel that Michael Douglas have not made many great movies in a very long time. Some were good, like The Game, Wonder Boys and Wall Street - Money Never Sleep, but nothing very powerful like he used to do in his older classics. But here, he shines like a bright star, he is perfect as Liberace, and i can´t imagine anyone doing this character better than him. Matt Damon is also really good as Liberace´s lover Scott Thompson, the only problem i have is to see him as an 17 year old boy, considering that he actually is 43 years old today. But still, he manage to do a great performance considering his character is not easy to do. But it does not stop here. Rob Lowe is also great as plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Startz, with a hair cut that really will blow your mind away. Dan Aykroyd is here also, who looks very different than usual as the character Seymour Hellen. Behind The Candelabra is a tragic story, of this legend, that not many people could understand. Was he a pedophile ? Was he a monster ? I will let you decide for yourselves, considering this is a very strong emotional story on many levels. One of the best motion pictures of the year of 2013 ? Yes indeed, you should support the film makers and buy this one, because stories like this one need to be told. An amazing motion picture from legendary director Steven Soderbergh, i really hope they win all 4 nominations at the Golden Globe Awards 2014.