Behind the Candelabra (2013)
At the peak of his career, Władziu Valentino Liberace of West Allis, Wisconsin, was the highest paid entertainer in the world. We know him simply as Liberace. This made-for-HBO movie by Steven Soderbergh focuses only on the famously flamboyant pianist's six-year relationship with his much younger partner Scott Thorson, and is based on Thorson's own memoir of the same title that was published in 1988. Michael Douglas stars as Liberace and Matt Damon as Thorson. Throughout his career, Liberace denied that he was gay, and he even sued (successfully) a London newspaper that made that claim. The reality, as this film shows, was very different. When he died in 1987 his publicist manipulated the coroner's report, but this was overturned, and it was publicly announced that the showman had died of AIDS complications. The film received rave reviews in the New Yorker magazine. The acting by Douglas and Damon is remarkable. The story is spell-binding and tragic.