This movie is as outrageous as Liberace! I guess that sentence is a bit of an oxymoron, but, Behind the Candelabra is as campy as it gets.

For those of you who don’t know, Behind the Candelabra is the story of Liberace – a piano virtuoso who changed the way performer thought about putting on a show. He could very well be credited with creating the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas stage show. He was the original Las Vegas stage act…

Story: This is only the period of time when Liberace was with Scott Thorson. Because it was said to be the most significant relationship in Liberace’s life, I think the producers made the right call on the timeframe for the story.

No part of Liberace’s personal relationship with Thorson is much of a surprise to anyone, but, it was very entertaining to see some of the drama unfold. The writers picked great moments in Liberace and Thorson’s relationship to expose. And I don’t think they had to dramatize the actual events…

Characters: Michael Douglas won a Golden Globe for this performance. He should have gotten an Oscar too. Matt Damon too. I must also give a nod to Scott Bakula as one of their mutual friends; Rob Lowe as their plastic surgeon and Dan Aykroyd as Liberace’s very pointed agent.

But, particular mention clearly goes to Michael Douglas and Matt Damon for giving it their all in the intimate scenes. I saw this on DVD and in the “Making of” video, both talked about how they just had to go for it and not give it too much thought. Apparently, Matt Damon’s mother was on the set at one point, so, kudos to him for being married to a woman and making out with another man, married to a woman, in front of his mother for money… Kudos…

Visual: Spectacular. Truly the right use of the word. Furs and jewelry and designer clothing and lots of it. If you grew up in the 70’s like I did, you’ll get a kick out of the wardrobe and the hairstyles. They missed the boat a bit on the lingo, but, the look was spot-on and the mentality was all there.

I’ll even go so far as to say, Matt Damon did an outstanding job of being eye candy. He’s usually not that guy, but, he is in this movie. Michael Douglas as well; He epitomized Liberace and his flamboyance.

Rating: I’ll give Behind the Candelabra an A-. Being a car guy, I saw a could of cars that were out of their time period, but, clearly, that’s not a significant flaw in the story. The story was told expertly and performed with conviction. I grew up watching Liberace perform and I remember thinking as a kid, “Isn’t this a bit much?” And while it really was for me, for some, it was the height of entertainment… still is. It was nice to re-visit that time. That’s what a biopic should be. Get this on DVD ASAP – you’ll have some great laughs like I did.