Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Walk Away Wednesday: Behind the Candelabra
For every good movie, there's a hundred stinkers. Do you smell something? Oh, it's Steven Soderbergh's sparkly homage to excess, Behind the Candelabra (TVMA), based on a book by Scott Thurston.
Growing up, I'd see Liberace on television from time to time and he always seemed like a fun guy, if only for his love of hogging the spotlight. His musical talent couldn't be denied, but the showmanship was the main thing with Liberace. A good financial adviser would have encouraged him to take stock in Swarovski crystals. Legal wranglings introduced the world to Scott Thurston, so public opinion was stacked against our good buddy, Scott, long before his book came out. Most people thought, right or wrong, that he was in a relationship with Liberace for the money.
What is wrong with this film? We have history, 20/20 hindsight and this book by Thurston brought to the screen for our viewing pleasure. At the risk of being a whiner (Lord knows that was adequately covered in the movie), a high school English teacher forgot to tell Thurston and Soderbergh that great storytelling has a whole lot of who, what, where and why. Protagonists and antagonists are easily identified, one would hope. I might add that it's a bad thing when you find yourself just looking at the background sets, feeling a bit moronic (ooooo....sparkly...). Surely someone could have done wonders with this script and turned it into a true examination of a relationship. Did that happen? No. At the end of the flick, I didn't like anyone, and I'm also selling anything I have that sparkles. So, a heartfelt sorry to Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, and Scott Bakula. Your talents have been utilized better elsewhere.
Rent this one? Naw...walk away.