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DVD REVIEW: Behind the Candelabra
4:58pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Entertainments
SCOTT Thorson (Matt Damon) meets choreographer Bob Black (Scott Bakula) in a gay bar and the two head to Las Vegas to enjoy a sold-out performance by Liberace (Michael Douglas).
Dazzled by the pianist, Scott abandons rural Wisconsin for the bright lights of the big city, where he is taken under Liberace’s wing and encouraged to explore his sexuality.
However, the pressures of fame weigh heavily on Scott and the relationship flounders.
Based on Thorson’s autobiography, Behind The Candelabra is a handsome biopic which trades biting wit, romance and heartbreak to lay bare the emotional bonds between Scott and his famous partner.
Richard LaGravenese’s script unfolds in chronological order, peppered with tart one-liners, gifted largely to Douglas, whose tour de force portrayal exposes the tormented showman behind the fur-lined and sequin-bedecked myth.
Damon has the less showy and more difficult role, and he rises to the occasion magnificently.
The white hot glow of Douglas’ performance distracts from the sluggish pacing of the film’s final third and the broad sketching of peripheral characters. The glitz and glamour of Steven Soderbergh’s film are intoxicating.
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