Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star in the biopic about extravagant pianist and entertainer Liberace, Behind the Candelabra. It premiered at Cannes on Tuesday night, after being screened early in the morning to welcoming applause from press. For me, the two were highlights of the day, even more so after listening to them speak at a press conference for the movie afterwards.
Michael started talking about the role and he began to tear up as he spoke about how grateful he was director Steven Soderbergh waited for him to be able to do the film: “It was right after my cancer,” he said. “And this role was a special gift. I am so grateful Steven and Matt and everyone else waited for me to do it.” Michael beat stage 4 throat cancer in 2011. He is exceptional in this role and many of the critics here have been praising his work. Alongside Matt Damon, he truly shines. Together they bring the 5-year story of Liberace “Lee” and his lover Scott Thorson to the screen, with empathy and humour. I thoroughly enjoyed it – but because the film is only releasing on TV in the US, it means the cast won’t be eligible for Oscar nominations.