Saturday 11 July 2020
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BEHIND THE CANDELABRA: REVIEW – Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) goes to Las Vegas and gets a job looking after and being companion to Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).

This is the film that was too gay for the studios and represents Steven Soderbergh’s second final film this year, so there is ample room for some edgy gay jokes or just the odd cheap shot at the bald eagle of Indy cinema, but to tell you the truth the film is so well pitched and so entertaining as to make such derision both tasteless and pointless.

Exploring the loneliness of fame, Douglas is fantastic as the needy and remarkably canny Lee, someone who is aware of his own status and the fine line he treads between camp openness and possible scandal. At times tender and at other ruthless, the performance veers close to but never tips into parody, and like Soderbergh’s film as a whole explores camp and all the gaudy horrors and delights that entails, but never itself – apart from one short dream sequence and the actual stage shows – indulges in camp itself. Damon has the quieter and perhaps more difficult role of the innocent gradually corrupted, but with his white bread naivety and fresh faced charm, he is utterly convincing, like a talented Mark Wahlberg.

Liberace has become something of a forgotten figure and this film will reignite interest in him not only as a dazzling showman, but also as a victim to what for all its glitter was a benighted age when it came to the politics of sexuality.
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  1. cinemaprofound

    I wanted to see this, but since I”m living in lean times, I couldn’t. Everything I’ve read makes me want to see it more, including your piece. Nicely done.


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