Behind the CandelabraI’m old enough to have caught the tail-end of Liberace’s long and very successful career as pianist to ladies of a certain age. Despite being the most outrageous old queen in the business and the rampant tittle-tattle about his bawdy private life, Liberace got away it by suing the arse off anyone who told tales out of school and playing the I-just-haven’t-found-the-right-girl tune to his myopic fans. Back in the day, it was easier to maintain the lie. If he was still alive and tinkling, the Twitter generation and the red tops would have a field day, particularly as Walt loved to play fast and loose with his reputation by buggering the boys in back rooms. So, with a sparkling set of reviews, we anticipated the Liberace biopic ‘Behind the Candelabra‘ with some relish. Was the film worth the hype? Well, yes and no. Michael Douglas as the rhinestone peacock was superb. He deserves an Oscar but won’t get one as the film was made-for-TV by HBO in the States (though he will qualify for a BAFTA here in old Blighty). Matt Damon as the young lover sported a suitably rabbit-in-headlights look and Rob Lowe almost stole the show as a deliciously wicked pill-pushing plastic surgeon who’d been under the knife once too often himself. The film caught the gas-guzzling Seventies’ mood brilliantly and there were some good lines. By the end of the performance though, too many things were left unsaid. When Liberace’s elderly mother died (an unrecognisable Debbie Reynolds) his response was, “Now I am free.” Why? We’re not told. I found myself getting a little bored as the glitter-sprinkled film camped along to its inevitable conclusion and became irritated when the Middle England audience giggled in embarrassment at some of the mildly raunchy scenes and ripe language. Ladies, it wasn’t that graphic. You really need to get out more.

11 thoughts on “Behind the Candelabra – Venereal Warts and All

  1. . . my mother – along with every other mother – thought he was such a nice mummy’s boy. Suggested I should be like him – ‘I should co-co!’ said I in all innocence.

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  2. Thanks for the review, Jack. I forgot all about this film. Hope to see it now.
    Liberace may have been a lot of things but I LOVED to listen to his music. I even saw him live a couple of times. He sure knew how to entertain, no holds barred.

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  3. Hmm. I was looking forward to this one, but not sure whether I am now. I don’t like unanswered questions. I somehow can’t envisage Michael Douglas in the title role, but I take your word for it that he was superb.

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