BEHIND THE CANDELABRA  [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Funny and Fabulous! Simply Outrageous! Exceptional! Magnificent! Too Much of A Good Thing is Wonderful!
Before Elvis Presley, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace the infamous pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship and extravagance, he lit up every stage he performed on, as bright as his candelabras and with a unique flair that gained him millions of devoted fans across the globe.
From Academy Award® winning director Steven Soderbergh of ‘Behind The Candelabra' is the outrageous and gloriously entertaining true story of Liberace [Michael Douglas] and his secret love affair with the young and handsome Scott Thorson [Matt Damon] who have an intense rollercoaster ride of hedonistic fun, flamboyance and excess.
FILM FACT No.1: Awards and Nomination: 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards: Win: Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie for Barbara Munch (set decorator), Howard Cummings (production designer) and Patrick M. Sullivan Jr. (art director). Win: Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special for Ellen Mirojnick (costume designer) and Robert Q. Mathews (costume supervisor). Win: Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or a Movie for Kay Georgiou (personal hairstylist), Kerrie Smith (personal hairstylist), Marie Larkin (department head hairstylist) and Yvette Stone (key hairstylist). Win: Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or a Movie (Non-Prosthetic) for Christine Beveridge (personal makeup artist), Deborah La Mia Denaver (key makeup artist), Deborah Rutherford (assistant department head makeup artist), Kate Biscoe (department head makeup artist) and Todd Kleitsch (personal makeup artist). Win: Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie for Dennis Towns (production mixer), Larry Blake (re-recording mixer) and Thomas Vicari (scoring mixer). Win: Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special for Christine Beveridge (personal makeup artist), Christien Tinsley (prosthetic designer), Hiroshi Yada (special makeup effects artist), Jamie Kelman (special makeup effects artist), Kate Biscoe (department head makeup artist), Stephen Kelley (additional makeup effects artist) and Todd Kleitsch (prosthetic designer). Win: Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special for Carmen Cuba (casting director). Win: Outstanding Miniseries or Movie for Gregory Jacobs (producer), Jerry Weintraub (executive producer), Michael Polaire (producer) and Susan Ekins (producer). Win: Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie for Steven Soderbergh (editor) (aka Mary Ann Bernard). Win: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Michael Douglas for playing "Liberace." Win: Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for Steven Soderbergh. Nomination: Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie for Steven Soderbergh (aka Peter Andrews). Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Matt Damon for playing "Scott Thorson." Nomination: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Scott Bakula for playing "Bob Black." Nomination: Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for Richard LaGravenese (screenplay). 2013 California on Location Awards: Win: Location Professional of the Year Independent Feature for Caleb Duffy (location manager) and HBO Films (production company). 2013 Cannes Film Festival: Win: Palm Dog Award for Baby Boy. Nomination: Palme d'Or for Steven Soderbergh. Nomination: Queer Palm for Steven Soderbergh. 2013 Casting Society of America: Win: Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Television Movie/Mini Series for Carmen Cuba (casting director) and Wittney Horton (associate). 2013 Gold Derby TV Awards: Win: TV Movie/Mini Lead Actor for Michael Douglas. Win: TV Movie or Miniseries. Nomination: TV Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for Debbie Reynolds. Nomination: TV Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for Rob Lowe. Nomination: TV Movie/Mini Lead Actor for Matt Damon. 2013 Hollywood Post Alliance: Nomination: Outstanding Color Grading for Television for FotoKem and John Daro. 2013 International Cinephile Society Awards: Win: ICS Cannes Award for Best Actor for Michael Douglas. 2013 Television Critics Association Awards: Win: Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials. 2013 Online Film & Television Association: Win: Best Motion Picture or Miniseries. Win: Best Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries for Michael Douglas. Win: Best Direction of a Motion Picture or Miniseries for Steven Soderbergh. Win: Best Writing of a Motion Picture or Miniseries for Richard LaGravenese. Win: Best Costume Design in a Non-Series for Ellen Mirojnick. Win: Best Makeup/Hairstyling in a Non-Series for Christine Beveridge, Deborah La Mia Denaver, Deborah Rutherford, Kate Biscoe, Kay Georgiou, Kerrie Smith, Marie Larkin, Todd Kleitsch and Yvette Stone. Nomination: Best Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries for Matt Damon. Nomination: Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries for Scott Bakula. Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries. Nomination: Best Music in a Non-Series for Liberace. Nomination: Best Editing in a Non-Series for Steven Soderbergh (aka Mary Ann Bernard). Nomination: Best Cinematography in a Non-Series for Steven Soderbergh (aka Peter Andrews). Nomination: Best Production Design in a Non-Series for Barbara Munch (set decoration), Howard Cummings (production design) and Patrick M. Sullivan Jr. (art direction). Nomination: Best Sound in a Non-Series for Dennis Towns, Larry Blake and Thomas Vicari. Nomination: Best Visual Effects in a Non-Series for Bryan Godwin, Josh Hakian, Ryan Andersen and Thomas J. Smith. Nomination: Best New Theme Song in a Series. Nomination: Best New Titles Sequence. 2014 Golden Globes: Win: Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. Win: Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for Michael Douglas. Nomination: Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for Matt Damon. Nomination: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for Rob Lowe. 2014 BAFTA Film Awards: Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay for Richard LaGravenese. Nomination: Best Supporting Actor for Matt Damon. Nomination: Best Production Design for Howard Cummings. Nomination: Best Make Up/Hair for Kate Biscoe and Marie Larkin. Nomination: Best Costume Design for Ellen Mirojnick. 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Win: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Michael Douglas. Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Matt Damon. 2014 American Cinema Editors: Win: Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television for Steven Soderbergh (aka Mary Ann Bernard). 2014 Art Directors Guild: Win: Excellence in Production Design Award: Television Movie or Mini-Series for Barbara Munch (set decorator), Eric R. Johnson (assistant art director), Eric Sundahl (set designer), Greg Berry (set designer), Howard Cummings (production designer), John Berger (set designer), Karen Teneyck (graphic designer), Patrick M. Sullivan Jr. (art director) and Thomas Machan (model maker). 2014 Cinema Audio Society, USA: Win: Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movie or Mini-Series for Dennis Towns (production mixer), Larry Blake (re-recording mixer), Scott Curtis (foley mixer) and Thomas Vicari (scoring mixer). 2014 CinEuphoria Awards: Nomination: Best Duo in an International Competition for Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. Nomination: Best Cinematography in an International Competition for Steven Soderbergh. Nomination: Best Costume Design in an International Competition for Ellen Mirojnick. Nomination: Best Art Direction in an International Competition for Barbara Munch, Howard Cummings and Patrick M. Sullivan Jr. Nomination: Best Make-Up in an International Competition for Christine Beveridge, Christien Tinsley, Deborah La Mia Denaver, Deborah Rutherford, Hiroshi Yada, Jamie Kelman, Kate Biscoe, Kay Georgiou, Kerrie Smith, Marie Larkin, Stephen Kelley, Todd Kleitsch and Yvette Stone. 2014 Costume Designers Guild Awards: Win: Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries for Ellen Mirojnick. 2014 Directors Guild of America: Win: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for Gregory Jacobs (first assistant director) (plaque), Jody Spilkoman (second assistant director) (plaque), Lynn Struiksma (second second assistant director) (plaque), Michael Polaire (unit production manager) (plaque) and Steven Soderbergh. 2014 Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association: Win: Dorian Award for TV Drama of the Year. Win: Dorian Award for TV Performance of the Year for an Actor for Michael Douglas. Nomination: Dorian Award for LGBT TV Show of the Year. Nomination: Dorian Award for Campy TV Show of the Year. 2014 GLAAD Media Awards: Win: Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series. 2014 Guardian Film Awards, UK: Win: Best Line of Dialogue for Michael Douglas for "What a story; everything but a fire in the orphanage." Liberace (Michael Douglas). Nomination: Best Supporting Actor for Matt Damon. 2014 Guild of Music Supervisors Awards: Win: Best Music Supervision in a Television Long Form and Movie for Evyen Klean. 2014 Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards: Win: Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling - Television Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Marie Larkin and Yvette Stone. Win: Best Period and/or Character Makeup in a Television Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Deborah Rutherford and Kate Biscoe. 2014 Jupiter Award: Nomination: Best International Actor for Michael Douglas. 2014 Location Managers Guild International Awards: Nomination: Outstanding Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional for TV Programs for Caleb Duffy. 2014 London Critics Circle Film Awards: Nomination: Actor of the Year for Michael Douglas. Nomination: Technical Achievement of the Year for Howard Cummings (production design). 2014 People's Choice Awards, USA: Nomination: Favorite TV Movie/Miniseries. 2014 PGA Awards: Win: Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television for Gregory Jacobs, Jerry Weintraub, Michael Polaire and Susan Ekins.
FILM FACT No.2: Director Steven Soderbergh first spoke with Michael Douglas about the idea of doing a Liberace film during the production of ‘Traffic’ , but had trouble figuring out an angle for it that would differentiate it from a traditional biopic. In the summer of 2008, Steven Soderbergh contacted screenwriter Richard LaGravenese with the idea of adapting Scott Thorson's memoir Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace. In September 2008, the project was officially announced with Matt Damon close to signing on to play Thorson and Douglas in talks to portray Liberace. The following year, Douglas officially signed on to play Liberace alongside Damon. The film spent several years in development while Steven Soderbergh had difficulty securing funding, with Hollywood studios saying it was "too gay." During this time, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon remained adamant that they would appear in the film despite its lengthy development. Ultimately, the film was picked up by HBO Films and shot on a budget of $23 million over thirty days in 2012. While promoting the film, Steven Soderbergh went on to explain that this would be his last directorial effort for the time being. It is also the last film to feature a musical score by composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away on the 6th August, 2012.
Cast: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Eric Zuckerman, Eddie Jemison, Randy Lowell, Tom Roach, Shamus Cooley, John Smutny, Jane Morris, Garrett M. Brown, Michael Douglas, Pat Asanti, Debbie Reynolds, Casey Kramer, Cheyenne Jackson, Tom Papa, Dan Aykroyd, James Kulick, Bruce Ramsay, Paul Witten, Deborah Lacey, Rob Lowe, David Koechner, Susan Caroll Todd, Nicky Katt, Austin Stowell, Francisco San Martin, Boyd Holbrook, Anthony Crivello, Mike O'Malley, Kiff VandenHeuvel, Nikea Gamby-Turner, Charlotte Crossley, Josh Meyers, Harvey J. Alperin, Paul Reiser, Jerry Clarke, Lisa Frantz, Shaun T. Benjamin, John Philip Kavcak, Marc Abbink (uncredited), Kelly Allen (uncredited), Gregg Atwill (uncredited), Lita S. Bowman (uncredited), Baby Boy (Liberace's Blind Poodle uncredited), Barbara Brownell (uncredited), Cici Leah Campbell (uncredited), Johnny Carson (archive footage uncredited), Richard Allan Jones (uncredited), Adam J. Kassel (uncredited), Peggy King (TV archive footage uncredited), Brittany Perry-Russell (uncredited), Jimmy Scanlon (uncredited) and Ryken Zane (uncredited)
Director: Steven Soderbergh (screenplay), Alex Thorleifson (book) and Scott Thorson (book)
Producers: Gregory Jacobs, Jerry Weintraub, Michael Polaire and Susan Ekins
Screenplay: Richard LaGravenese
Composer: Marvin Hamlisch
Cinematography: Steven Soderbergh (aka Peter Andrews) (Director of Photography)
Image Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
English: 2.0 LPCM Stereo Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 119 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Entertainment One / HBO Films
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: If you had asked me a few years ago if I thought Michael Douglas and Matt Damon could make for an engaging and believable romantic couple, I probably would have laughed in your face. If you then continued to tell me that the pair would actually be portraying Liberace and his young lover, I probably would have continued to laugh in your face. Now, don't get me wrong, both actors are more than capable performers, but the odd pairing just doesn't scream “captivating chemistry.” Well, it turns out that such an assumption from me would have been dead wrong, and now we have the proof. I mean, just look at that the beautiful Region B/2 Blu-ray embossed cover!
Directed by Steven Soderbergh of ‘BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’ presents an intimate, funny, and genuinely dramatic peek into the colourful pianist's personal life, exposing a romance that starts off innocent enough but soon becomes increasingly chaotic, twisted, and unhealthy. As passion transitions into spite, and affection transforms into jealousy, the two tormented lovers engage in a roller coaster ride of emotions, all set against the backdrop of the over-the-top glitz and glamour of showbiz wealth and fame.
Based on the 1988 memoir “Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.” The film focuses on the real-life relationship between Scott Thorson [Matt Damon], a young aspiring veterinarian, and an aging Liberace [Michael Douglas], the flashy superstar pianist. After being introduced to each other backstage at one of the musician's shows, the two instantly take a liking toward one another, and soon Liberace hires Scott to be his personal assistant. Their relationship then quickly becomes romantic, but things ultimately start to take a darker turn. As plastic surgery, drugs, and jealousy take hold, their coupling becomes damaging, threatening to unravel both their lives.
The story is essentially told from Scott Thorson's perspective, and he serves as our window into Liberace's lavish world. At first overwhelmed by the flashy entertainer's extravagant lifestyle, the once modest and innocent young man eventually comes to embrace the many perks that come his way. In fact, he ultimately goes a little too far, and Matt Damon does a great job with the stark transformation, gradually shifting the character's personality until he's barely recognisable (inside and out). Forced to have plastic surgery and take drugs for weight loss by Liberace, Thorson has a bit of a crisis of identity, and the actor plays up the man's increasing confusion and frustrations perfectly illustrates all while remaining infatuated with the very source of his problems.
Of course, as radical as Matt Damon's transformation is, it's nothing compared to Michael Douglas' impressive metamorphosis into Liberace. I must admit, at first I couldn't help but see the famous actor behind the facade, but as the runtime continued, Douglas gradually disappeared into the role, truly embodying the character. With a solid approximation of the flamboyant star's distinct voice and mannerisms, and some great costumes and makeup as his groundwork to build upon, the actor goes on to offer a multifaceted portrayal that never feels like an imitation or a caricature. Instead, he feels like a real person, full of insecurity, loneliness, longing, eccentricity, and vulnerability, exposing the actual man behind the larger-than-life persona.
Together, Matt Damon and Michael Douglas form a completely believable couple, and at first their courtship is more or less positive. A lot of the film is dedicated to pillow talk between the two, and their conversations feel intimate and natural. Likewise, the film doesn't shy away from their physical interactions, providing a frank depiction of sex. A great deal of loving humour is also derived from the characters' innate eccentricities (again, just look at that Blu-ray slip cover!), and the filmmakers play up some of the inherent silliness and strangeness of the subject matter to great effect and Rob Lowe's character is especially memorable and should of got some form of a gong.
With that said, as funny as a lot of the runtime can be, the narrative does eventually take some increasingly dark and unsettling turns, revealing the affair's more disturbing elements, including a particularly creepy desire from Liberace to adopt Thorson and literally re-shape him in his own image. This all leads to an interesting examination of emotional control, facades, fickle infatuations, the pitfalls of fame, and the consequences of insatiable desires. What starts out as a supportive relationship grows ugly and petty, and it becomes hard to watch as the two lovers try to spite each other in painful ways.
Though the subject matter might seem inherently flashy on the surface, Steven Soderbergh mostly plays against expectations, and instead offers a rather restrained approach, opting for a more functional and modest cinematic form that adheres to a fittingly vintage look. Often letting the characters and situations simply speak for themselves, the director engenders a personal, intimate mood with well-crafted shots and movements that, while artistically designed, don't really draw attention to the filmmaking. That's not to say that the film is completely without spectacle, however, and there are key scenes where Steven Soderbergh definitely turns up the dial on his style knob.
Several recreations of Liberace's on stage performances are all appropriately showy, with a few quick cutting close-ups of the talented artist's impressive finger work gliding across his piano. Some later scenes that follow Thorson through his drug addiction are also home to more kinetic visuals, with disorienting moving shots that go in and out of focus, replicating the characters' own distraught and paranoid state of mind. As one might expect, the production design itself is also dazzling, bringing the performer's shining costumes and extravagant homes to life, adding an invaluable sense of outrageous character and personality to the proceedings. And then of course there's the film's finale, which features a brief excursion into the surreal, playing up Liberace's penchant for glitzy excess one last time to great success.
Richard LaGravenese's screenplay works in fine little dabs of detail, and serves up one or two aces. When Liberace's ageing mother [Debbie Reynolds], also totally awesome and terrific) hits the jackpot on the mansion's one-armed bandit, the machine refuses to cough up its reward. (He's forgotten to fill it again.) Scott goes to fetch Liberace, who apologises to his mother for the lack of coins. Her reply: “I'll take a cheque.”
According to reports before the film's release, Steven Soderbergh apparently shopped the project around to several major studios, but all of them balked at the notion of making a film based on the topic. After watching the completed film, I really can't see what they were objecting too and us brits had no problem with the film, in fact we welcomed it with open arms of celebration, as we Brits are not upset with its subject matter. Sure, the concept isn't exactly commercial and it is pretty damn far from being commercially driven, which is its saving grace, but with Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, and Steven Soderbergh all on board, it at least had a good chance of drawing critical success and perhaps even some awards recognition, with all things, it has indeed garnered even in its small screen incarnation. Regardless, thankfully HBO snatched up the project, and the results are more than worthwhile. An intimate examination of jealousy, romance, overindulgence, and the crazy, hurtful things we can do to one another when love is involved, ‘BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’ successfully peels back the surface layers of Liberace's later life, offering an emotional, humorous, thoughtful, and appropriately sparkling piece of filmmaking.
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA MUSIC TRACK LIST
TICO TICO (Written by Zequinha de Abreu (aka Zequinha Abreu) and Ervin Drake) [Piano Performed by Liberace]
NOLA (Written by Felix Arndt) [Piano Performed by Liberace]
WHEN LIBERACE WINKS AT ME (Written by Bobby Gimby and Johnny Wayne aka Jonny Wayne) [Sung by Peggy King] [Piano Performed by Liberace]
LOVE IS BLUE (L'Amour est Bleu) (Music by André Popp) (French lyrics by Pierre Cour) (English lyrics by Bryan Blackburn) [Performed by Liberace]
KITTEN ON THE KEYS (Written by Zez Confrey aka Edward Zez Confrey) [Piano Performed by Liberace]
THE LIBERACE BOOGIE (Written by Liberace) [Piano Performed by Randy Kerber]
BEGIN THE BEGUINE (Written by Cole Porter) [Piano Performed by Randy Kerber]
CARIOCA (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 (aka 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"]
NOLA (Written by Felix Arndt) [Piano Performed by Randy Kerber]
I FEEL LOVE (Written by Pete Bellotte (aka Peter Bellotte), Giorgio Moroder, and Donna Summer) [Performed by Donna Summer]
DÉJÀ VU (Written by Adrienne Anderson and Isaac Hayes) [Performed by Dionne Warwick]
HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS (Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin) [Performed by Johnny Mathis]
LIVING INSIDE MYSELF (Written by Gino Vannelli) [Performed by Gino Vannelli]
I BELONG WITH YOU (Written by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes)
Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4 (Written by Frédéric Chopin) [Performed by Idil Biret]
IF EVER I LOSE THIS HEAVEN (Written by Leon Ware and Pam Sawyer) [Performed by Average White Band]
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE CHRISTMAS (Written by Meredith Willson) [Performed by Johnny Mathis]
Blu-ray Image Quality – The film ‘BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’ is presented in a beautiful 1080p encoded image transfer in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Shot on the Red Epic, the film has a distinct style that looks quite nice on Blu-ray, enhancing the glittery, retro content of the story well. The digital source is mostly clean, but there is a light layer of noise visible from time to time and a few isolated spikes in noise during darker scenes that can be a little distracting. The picture adheres to an intentionally soft appearance with a faintly diffuse glow that helps to create a certain “vintage” look. Though this softer quality does limit detail, clarity is still good and there is a solid sense of depth and fine textures in characters and wardrobe choices. To this end, all of Liberace's extravagant, glittery costumes sparkle off the screen and one can make out every speck of sequins. Colours are often cast in a golden sheen, and while the palette isn't particularly varied, the aesthetic fits nicely with the 1970s and 1980s setting. Thankfully, contrast is well balanced with steady black levels and good shadow delineation. Appropriately stylised with a soft, golden glow, ‘BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’ looks very good on Blu-ray, preserving the director's intentions without any major issues.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The HBO film ‘BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’ is provided with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and a 2.0 LPCM Audio Stereo track. Optional English SDH subtitles are also included. Modest but relatively engaging, this is a solid, albeit restrained mix. Speech is clear and well prioritised, giving ample presence to Michael Douglas' distinct take on Liberace's trademark voice. The track is fairly front-loaded, but effects like crowd reactions and applause during shows do hit the surrounds. Likewise, other ambient effects like crickets or background clatter in a rowdy club are dispersed naturally around the soundstage. Directionality is decent as well, with a few key sounds, like a door slamming off to the side and being relegated to the appropriate speakers. The piano music itself comes through with wonderful clarity and dimension, bringing great range and depth to the musical performances. With that said the film as a whole is rather quiet, with a subdued sense of space. Likewise, bass activity is negligible. The sound design is a little subdued, but the more delicate approach works well with the intimate subject matter. A bit more texture and immersion would have been welcomed, but as a whole this is a fitting mix.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: The Making of ‘BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’  [1080i] [1.78:1] [14:00] This HOB Special Documentary is presented with a 2.0 LPCM Audio Stereo and the same subtitle options as the main feature, this is a standard behind-the-scenes documentary with cast and crew interviews and on-set footage. The participants discuss adapting the source material, approaching the characters, and what is was like to work with Steven Soderbergh. Crew members also elaborate on recreating Liberace's extravagant homes and costumes, and there's even some brief archive footage of the man himself. Though this offers a little more than usual promotional stuff, the documentary is sadly is far too brief. Contributors include: Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Marcus LaVoi, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds and Jerry Weintraub.
Finally, ‘BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’ offers an intimate peek into superstar pianist Liberace's personal life and his turbulent affair with a younger man. Through their story, director Steven Soderbergh shines a particularly glittering light on a fascinating real-life figure, while simultaneously examining interesting concepts dealing with love, jealousy, excess, and fame. The Blu-ray features a strong video presentation that respects the director's intended aesthetic, and a solid audio mix. Sadly, we only get one brief documentary, but it's still worth a look. While this isn't the most impressive disc, the technical presentation is good and the film itself is a well-crafted biopic that will likely even appeal to those who might seem apprehensive about its subject matter. When I purchased the Region A/1 Blu-ray, I had no sound and so instead purchased this Region B/2 Blu-ray and it is absolutely stunning and the beautiful designed Embossed Slip Cover is definitely far superior to the Region A/1 Blu-ray Cover. So all in all this is a stunning film and presentation and has gone pride of place in my Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso