Behind the Candelabra

(DVD - 2013 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Behind the Candelabra

Item Details

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and executive produced by Jerry Weintraub, this HBO Films drama recreates the glittering private world of Liberace, the flamboyant, phenomenally successful entertainer whose extravagant costumes, trademark candelabra, and elaborate stage shows made him the most bankable entertainer of his time.
Statement of Responsibility: directed by Steven Soderbergh ; screenplay by Richard LaGravenese ; produced by Gregory Jacobs, Susan Ekins, Michael Polaire ; HBO Films presents a Jerry Weintraub production
Title: Behind the candelabra
Publisher: Burbank, CA :, distributed by Warner Home Video,, c2013
Country of Producing Entity: United States
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (118 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
digital, optical, surround
digital, optical, stereo
video file, DVD video, Region 1, rda
Content Type: two-dimensional moving image
Media Type: video
Carrier Type: videodisc
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Report This Apr 22, 2014
  • eastriverside rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Wildly overhyped--definitely less than the sum of its rhinestone-encrusted parts. I can understand the impetus to bringing this story to life--Liberace, for chrissakes! But the casting of Matt Damon is a clunker--Scott Thorson was 18 years old when he was plucked from obscurity, and despite his talents, Matt Damon doesn't remotely look or act like any 18-year old I've ever met. It killed any plausibility for me, since it removes, from the get-go, the very real "ick factor" of the 18-year old animal trainer and the 57-year old, flamboyant entertainer. Douglas does a serviceable Liberace impression, but there's no revelations or deep insights herein. Even the hyped cameos were deadly dull: Rob Lowe and Debbie Reynolds serve as stunt casting with no meat to sink their teeth into. The highlight for me was Cheyenne Jackson as the boy-of-the-moment who gets the boot when Liberace sets his sights on Thorson. Other than that...it's a surprising bore given what the primary subject might have inspired in another director.

Report This Apr 08, 2014
  • Palomino rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Funny, tragic, captivating, weird, retro, touching, and entertaining. I'd describe it as a combination of Mad Men, House MD, and Frozen. I almost didn't watch, I was put off by negative reviews and thought it would be a lot of work, but I was amazed how quickly I got into the story and how much empathy I felt with these sad, stupid characters. This is either the most honest and deep love story movie I've seen in ages, or it's the best acting, because while watching I forgot that these guys are famous actors that I've seen in other roles. I think anyone would enjoy this for the music (?? I know!) and the costumes. Beware if you're offended by drugs, homosexuals, bedroom scenes, plastic surgery, china-smashing tantrums, bare bums, language, crimes against fashion, or dogs on sofas.

Report This Mar 18, 2014
  • Scaltro rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Bit bizarre to see the action between Michael Douglas and Matt Damon - you have to suspend your opinion of these actors. Based on a real story - it was worth learning about this person. They gave the script a good try.

Report This Mar 05, 2014
  • Jilliemae rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent, exciting and completely shocking. My spouse and I screamed, whether from delight or shock, throughout the whole movie.

Report This Mar 04, 2014
  • Basileus rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I quite enjoyed this movie and world of excess that the characters live in. If you are the richest person in the room, you have the most power, and Liberace seemed to love it all. Douglas was great as Liberace, but it would have been nice to get an idea of how his mind worked. Of course, the movie is told from the POV of Damon's character Scott, so we don't really get into the motivations of the other major character. Damon was good, but a bit too old for this role. In reality, Scott began his affair with Liberace when he was in his late teens, so a younger actor would have been more effective at getting across the naivety of the Scott character. I find it interesting that a few comments mentioned how icky it was to see 2 men kiss onscreen (did you not read the back of the DVD case to see what this movie was about?), yet no mention of the graphic sequence of the various plastic surgeries both Lee and Scott went through. Now THAT was icky.

Awful movie, and disappointing that Douglas would take the role at this stage of his life and career. Liberace was a great talent - an incredible pianist, and this movie is a complete insult to him.

Report This Dec 28, 2013
  • nancy3508 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Strong, but excelent story!!

I had great hopes for this movie, but it turned out to be dis tasteless and sleezy. I felt Michael Douglas was a caricature and not an honest portrayal and I hated to see Matt Damon in his role. Definitely not for me.

This was a definite waste of money and time! The acting was so bad that if this was meant to be taken seriously, it failed in so many ways! Comes across as being a comedy with the actors about to laugh out loud themselves judging by the looks on their faces. Liberace was a great entertainer and Thorsen's book made Lee out to be a clown. Thorsen like all Lee's lovers obviously was just another golddigger out to get what he could. I feel for Lee that he must have been so lonely that he made poor choices in his life when it came to his men. Young men won't be faithful and they don't know what sincerity is about and this movie hit the mark on that. This movie was like watching 70's porno instead of a serious biographical drama. I hate this movie, won't recommend it, it's an insult to Liberace himself. To see Douglas naked in this film was beyond grotesque. Can't imagine his beautiful wife and him doing anything in the bedroom without wanting to vomit.

Report This Dec 18, 2013
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Director Soderbergh has been hit and miss with me. I didn't like MAGIC MIKE and hated HAYWIRE. CONTAGION was only okay for me. However, I loved ERIN BROCKOVICH and OCEAN'S ELEVEN. (I've yet to see TRAFFIC and OUT OF SIGHT as of this writing.) The problem, I feared, was that, while I enjoyed most of his films circa the late nineties and early naughties, his more recent works were disappointing. I am so glad to say that this was not the case for BEHIND THE CANDELABRA. I loved the story and the entire film was done with care. The style is perfect and the acting is top-knotch, not just Michael Douglas who disappears into his role as Liberace, but also Matt Damon as Scott, the younger bisexual lover he takes in the seventies. (I read some other comments here citing their shock at the men kissing, which surprised me, since I didn't bat a lash at any of it. I don't think there's anything too shocking in that department.) The tumult of it all was intriguing as a story but saddening as a reality. The words and the actions seemed natural, flowing freely as if they were never written on the page, but just said and done, plain and simple. For me, this is Soderbergh's best work in years. I highly recommend it.

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Report This Jul 18, 2013
  • libguy_1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Behind the Candelabra trailer

Find it at NYPL


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