Behind the Candelabra

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: May 26, 2013
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 82 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 82
  2. Negative: 6 out of 82

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User Reviews

  1. Mar 17, 2015
    6
    Behind the Candelabra is quite good, but is not as good as it could be. Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe, and Dan Aykroyd, are all great in this riveting portrayal of Liberace during his later years and during his tumultuous relationship with Scott Thorson. At times, a solid romantic film, this one also manages to be quite dramatic, while staying true to its status as aBehind the Candelabra is quite good, but is not as good as it could be. Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe, and Dan Aykroyd, are all great in this riveting portrayal of Liberace during his later years and during his tumultuous relationship with Scott Thorson. At times, a solid romantic film, this one also manages to be quite dramatic, while staying true to its status as a biographical film. Steven Soderbergh's direction of this one is good as always. The production design, costume design, and makeup/hairstyling on this one are all great and worthy of praise. In addition, the writing is very strong and the story is told quite well. My main problem here is that it sometimes pours it on a little thick with the gay sex at times. We have come a long way, but we are not to the point where anybody really wants to watch Matt Damon have sex with Michael Douglas. Now, of course, I do not like sex scenes in general, but this one was a little awkward with those, but that's just me. Overall, Behind the Candelabra is an interesting portrayal of Liberace and Scott Thorson, which shows their time together with brutal honesty and paints, in my mind, a largely negative picture of Liberace. Expand
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Porton
    May 30, 2013
    80
    In other hands, this scenario might have degenerated into a caricature-filled freak show. The fact that it doesn’t is attributable to Soderbergh’s relatively restrained direction and Douglas's and Damon’s intelligently modulated performances.
  2. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    May 29, 2013
    80
    Director Steven Soderbergh walks a tightrope between camp and class and, if you make it that far, pulls it off.
  3. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    May 28, 2013
    100
    Behind the Candelabra succeeds precisely because it doesn’t care much about health or what constitutes a good role model--it shows respect for a complicated marriage simply by making it real.