Posts Tagged ‘Michael Douglas’

candelabra
Ok, my wife rented this, as it’s available at your local Redbox this week. I wasn’t going to watch it, but now that I have I should say something. This was probably the gayest movie I’ve ever seen, and I’m a fan of lesbian dramas. There’s something about men going at it on screen that makes me uncomfortable; can’t help it.

Michael Douglas pulls off an amazing performance as Liberace, showing the many facets of this legendary entertainer. Matt Damon’s role is equally as impressive, as the two live out the memoir of Liberace’s live-in boyfriend. The story clicked because of its direct “gay marriage” aspects, where the two lived as though married for about four years. With gay marriage a hot button issue today it is easy to see why the film was greenlighted.

Perhaps knowing that both actors are actually straight factored into perceptions of the film and how it was received. Jim Carrey’s I Love You Phillip Morris worked similarly. Carrey and Ewan McGregor had an incredibly moving relationship on screen, more so even than Douglas and Damon — which is strained and often creepy.

behind-the-candelabra-34

The drama is tense in Candelabra, because of Liberace, his twisted persona, advanced age and obsessions. There is a doomed quality from the beginning, and Damon is cautious and jittery as Douglas makes his move. The age disparity is hard to overcome — for the audience — even though Damon’s character does just that. The characters are complex, and the events range from laugh out loud absurd to the expected and inevitable.

Another ridiculous aspect to that world is the in-the-closet nature of fame back in the day. Liberace was so flamboyantly flaming, perhaps the most out and in your face gay man in America, and yet the public relations machine persisted, and middle America bought that he was supposedly straight. His life was defined by non-disclosure agreements and payoffs to ex-lovers. It’s all a fascinating and unexpectedly true to life telling.