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Behind the Candelabra (15)

Behind the Candelabra (15)

Biography, Drama, Romance

Based on the autobiographical novel, the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his (much younger) lover, Scott Thorson, is recounted.

The critical consensus

Every scene of Soderbergh’s film is sprinkled in sequin dust, topped by a finale that Liberace himself might have enjoyed.

****(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 02/06/2013

Who’d have thought Michael Douglas and Matt Damon would make such an astonishing, convincing on-screen couple? Steven Soderbergh, that’s who...

****(*)Dan Jolin, Empire Online, 03/06/2013

As biopic, black comedy and portrait of celebrity loneliness, Behind the Candelabra really is hard to beat.

****(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 06/06/2013

The full-blooded Hollywood stars give magnificent performances as one of the most mad and memorable couples to be immortalized on screen: Liberace and his young buck lover Scott Thorson.

*****Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 06/06/2013

Here is something pretty remarkable, a showbiz biopic that manages to be incisive without being judgemental, and sexually candid without being prurient.

****(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 06/06/2013

What the film ultimately serves up is an intriguing, and in the end, quite sad portrait of a marriage, not a legally binding one, but one in which all of the attendant complications and power plays that can make or break any relationship are laid bare.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 06/06/2013

The film earns big laughs from his vulgar tastes and the era's worst fashions. But the second half of the film tells a more familiar, less enjoyable story, about Thorson's drug dependency and the end of the affair.

***(*)(*)Laurence Phelan, The Independent, 07/06/2013

The film might have come across as a crude, cruel, even homophobic satire of Hollywood crassness, but in the end it's coldly revealing about the mating law of the whole showbiz jungle.

****(*)Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 08/06/2013

A brilliant performance by Michael Douglas illuminates an affectionate and funny portrait of the flamboyant entertainer.

Philip French, The Observer, 09/06/2013

There are times when Thorson’s unravelling threatens to send us down a well-worn, drug-addled path – a Boogie ‘Woogie’ Nights, perhaps? – but a poignant third act ensures otherwise. That, as they say, is entertainment.

****(*)James Mottram, The List, 05/06/2013

Fun, entertaining and well-judged, Behind The Candelabra is absolutely fabulous. If this really is Steven Soderbergh’s swan song – and let’s hope it isn’t – he’s went out on a high.

****(*)Stephen Carty, Flix Capacitor, 11/06/2013

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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