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 Posted:   Aug 28, 2013 - 12:17 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I've just seen this film today and I was very impressed with the performance of Matt Damon. It was essentially his picture, despite the title role belonging to Michael Douglas. I found the latter's performance at first interesting and impressive but, after a while, it became one-dimensional: he'd found the 'voice' and the body language but didn't add anything further to our understanding of the character. Perhaps this was the fault of the script which threw away ideas without developing these; for example, when Liberace's mother dies he says, "I feel free". There was a story right there, but the film concentrated on Liberace's promiscuity and faithlessness and Scott Thorson's obvious love for him. The relationships stray into bizarre territory; for example, Liberace pays for Thorson to have plastic surgery so that he'll resemble the pianist - and there are psycho-sexual aspects to the relationship linking it to a kind of incest. But the film didn't engage with this beyond the quasi comedic.

It was based on Scott Thorsen's book about their relationship, so this would have lent a heavy bias to the screenplay but I felt there was so much more which could have been developed. For example, Thorson speaks about being shunted from one foster parent to another in his youth and this obviously affected him significantly. There was grist here for further exploration which a good director could flesh out in a film. Soderbergh always seems a competent director, but I wouldn't say a particularly interesting one. (Honestly, I think the Coens would have done something far more original with this film!!) But I never realized before how absolutely beautiful Damon is to look at!!

The music was mostly diegetic, as you can imagine. And it's disturbing to realize just how contemptuous entertainers like Liberace were and are toward their audiences - dishing them up 'pap' and being smug about it!!

6 stars from me.

 Posted:   Aug 28, 2013 - 8:09 AM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

This is just about the best movie of the summer. No, it doesn't break free of some bio-pic cliche, but I submit the repetativeness is symbolic of the way Liberace cultivated and tossed aside lovers.

I give it a solid 8 of 10 stars.

 Posted:   Aug 28, 2013 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I found the movie pretty boring. I also don't remember any standout music in the background. Seems this thread should be on the other side of the boards.

 Posted:   Aug 28, 2013 - 12:49 PM   
 By:   Michael Condon   (Member)

The end credits had wonderful music. I don't remember if it was a medley or a single piece of music, but it was very good. I need to look into it more and see if the music is available somewhere.

 Posted:   Aug 28, 2013 - 1:02 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Remember this movie was based upon Thorsen's book which may be slanted or biased. I'm not sure I bought into the authenticity of the portrayals. On the other hand, I thought it was a very strong movie, especially in terms of acting. I thought Michael Douglas was very good even though his Liberace was rather reprehensible. He will probably earn an Emmy award. I also thought Damon was EXCELLENT and truly deserves an Emmy. It was the acting that made me admire this film.

 Posted:   Aug 28, 2013 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I agree the music of the end credits was good too - made me want to stick around and watch them: after the Liberace number, that is!!

And what about Debbie Reynolds? I realized who it was in that scene where she was playing the gaming machine!! As I said, lots of undeveloped plot ideas.

 Posted:   Dec 10, 2013 - 8:55 PM   
 By:   Ag^Janus   (Member)

How extensive was Marvin Hamlisch's contribution to Candelabra? I can't find anything other than a credit on IMDB.

 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 9:14 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I'm going through the film -- I'll let you know.

 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

Since he served as music producer on that thing, he was probably responsible for selecting individual pieces and their arrangement if necessary. Especially the final piece was probably his largest contribution to the movie,.. but he probably hasn't really composed anything new... too bad...

 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

The song at end is by Hamlisch. There is no score in the film.

 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

There's an opening band/orchestra piece introducing Liberace.

There's a fast-paced percussion and piano piece when Liberace and his friend are trying on cloths and rings. Sounds like it's a new arrangement of older material, but it's quite fun.

There's a piano piece during a Liberace voiceover sequnce while Damon's character drives him around. I think it's a new arrangement of a classical piece, but I don't know the name.

There's a piano and small small orchestra piece during a montage which includes the bandages coming off Liberace after plastic sugery. I can't say if this is a new piece of score.

There's another piano and small orchestra piece during a montage, but Liberace (played by Michael Douglas) is playing the piano, so I'm assuming this is a piece by Liberace, just being re-performed, but I coudl be wrong.

There's a short piece when Damon's character leaves for L.A.

There's what sounds like a new arrangement of a famous classical piece, which takes place among scene where Damon's character trashes Liberace's bedroom.

There's a short transition piece when Damon leaves a book store and he passes a newspaper with the head line of a dead singer. I can't say if that's original score or track instrumental from a song.

And then there's the orchestral arrangement of "The Impossible Dream" to Liberace's stage show, which sounds newly recorded.

The end credits feature two pieces; one a piano piece, the other a piano piece with a small orchestra. I assume these are both new arrangements of existing material.

My suspicions were confirmed, as the opening credits were reserved for the end credits:
"music adapted by
Marvin Hamlisch"

"Orchestrations by JOHN THOMAS
Score Conducted by LUCAS RICHMAN"

"Executive Music Producer
Marvin Hamlisch"

 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

The song at end is by Hamlisch. There is no score in the film.

well... he arranged it... here is the "Liberace" original.

 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

Tico Tico
Written by Zequinha De Abreu (as Zequinha Abreu) and Ervin Drake
Piano Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

Written by Felix Arndt
Piano Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

When Liberace Winks at Me
Written by Bobby Gimby and Johnny Wayne (as Jonny Wayne)
Sung by Peggy King
Piano Performed by Liberace
COurtesy of John Delgatto/Entrée Records & DVD
By arrangement with the Liberace Foundation

Love Is Blue
Written by André Popp (as Andre Charles Jean Popp), Pierre Cour, and Bryan Blackburn (as Bryan Andre Blackburn)
Piano Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises

Kitten on the Keys
Written by Zez Confrey (as Edward Zez Confrey)
Piano Performed by Liberace
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

The Liberace Boogie
Written by Liberace
Piano Performed by Randy Kerber
Begin the Beguine
Written by Cole Porter
Piano Performed by Randy Kerber

Written by Edward Eliscu, Gus Kahn, and Vincent Youmans
Piano Performed by Randy Kerber

Sincerely Yours
Written by Liberace and Paul Francis Webster
Piano Performed by Randy Kerber

Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Piano Performed by Randy Kerber

The Impossible Dream
Written by Joe Darion (as Joseph Darion) and Mitch Leigh
Piano Performed by Michael Douglas and Randy Kerber

Why Do I Love You
Written by Hans Engelmann and Mary Carolyn Davies
Piano Performed by Michael Douglas and Randy Kerber
Originally titled "Melody of Love". ?????

I Feel Love
Written by Pete Bellotte (as Peter Bellotte), Giorgio Moroder (as Giorgio G. Moroder), and Donna Summer
Performed by Donna Summer
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enteprises

Déjà Vu
Written by Adrienne Anderson and Isaac Hayes
Performed by Dionne Warwick
Courtesy of Arista Contemporary/RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin
Performed by Johnny Mathis
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

Living Inside Myself
Written and Performed by Gino Vannelli
Courtesy of Arista Contemporary/RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Idil Biret
Courtesy of Naxos
By arrangement with Source/Q

If I Ever Lose This Heaven
Written by Leon Ware and Pam Sawyer
Performed by Average White Band
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. and AWB Classics Ltd.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas
Written by Meredith Willson
Performed by Johnny Mathis
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing


I Belong with You
Written by Marvin Hamlisch & Rupert Holmes

 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 11:45 AM   
 By:   Ralph   (Member)

Liberace was rarely about music, despite his virtuosity in bastardizing longhair and easy-listening classics. He was always about the audacity of showmanship — becoming the first publicly sanctioned American drag queen — and the more flaunting the display of jewel-studded furs, fingers, getups and cars mixed with his corn ball chitchat and dazzling ease at the keys, the larger the gawking audience. How his career began during the enforced puritanical mores of the fifties still remains a mystery: were we that naïve? Were women, the majority of his audience until he hit Vegas as cross generation freak show, in denial of his predilections or were they motherly protective because many of them were hoping that their little Liberaces at home would spring out of the closet as huge money-making machines? His “crying all the way to the bank” success had another component: audiences felt both comforted by and superior to him because, while enjoying a dandy gone super wacko, he was a pleb intellectually. In “Behind the Candelabra” Douglas never wavers in portraying him in that vein: a total powder puff exhibitionist on stage, he’s equally a philistine off — getting some action at an adult book store while adorned in fox. Essentially he’s on a spree of boys, toys and pricey knickknackery crammed into various mausoleums that give atrocity new meaning. Using the adjective fearless to describe what he does is plausible; it’s not often we get to see a major star get this divertingly featherbrained in the shallowness. It’s also why he’s a bit of a bore, as there’s nothing else here. If deeper psychologies are to be uncovered, other than his shame in contracting and attempting to hide AIDS that would eventually expose his ingrained Catholic pretenses few ever believed anyway, no one, much less director Steven Soderbergh or scripter Richard LaGravenese, has thus far revealed them. Even the money deals the star and his agents made — some of the most lucrative in entertainment — are discarded as filler. All that’s left to wonder is what kind of hangers-on could stomach Liberace in the sack. Matt Damon’s Scott, however, isn’t as shallow in pursuits of the gay high life. With makeup facilitating the collapse, he’s just about every trick-turned-scorned-lover who loses self-respect, becomes infantile and shrill and can’t seem to help himself; most damningly, he’s fully aware of the decline at every stage. What he goes through — transforming himself into a blonde version of Liberace as a fantasy Adonis, the booze and drug addictions, the humiliations and heave-hos — aren’t surprising (they’re a bit like Sharon Stone’s distresses in “Casino”) but they are grievances to punish. Debbie Reynolds continues with another of her hag mother roles, this time nearly unrecognizable. Let’s be grateful for her crack delivery of a rejoinder after winning a home-based slot machine jackpot.

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