Behind The Candelabra Tuesday, 07 July 2020

Behind The Candelabra

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    M: Drug use, coarse language and sex scenes.

  • The pitch:

    Behind the glamour.

  • Starring:

    Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Scott Bakula, David Koechner, Debbie Reynolds, Pat Asanti, Rob Lowe, Bruce Ramsay, Dan Akyroyd, Paul Reiser

  • Directed by:

    Steven Soderbergh

  • Running time:

    118 minutes

  • Rated:

    MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), NR (USA)


    A man trashes a room, throws and smashes objects. Heavy drinking, getting into fights, libel mentioned. Blood/gore: Close-ups of cosmetic surgery show scalpel slicing skin, implant being inserted, skin folded back, hammering bone, exposed flesh, surgical instruments. Blood, bandages, swelling.


    Homosexual couples perform frequent sex acts (sodomy, oral sex implied). Kissing, flirting. Penis implants, erectile dysfunction, virginity, bisexuality, open relationships discussed. A man watches male-male porn, visits an adult shop. Infidelity. Nudity: Nude men beneath sheets, male bottoms. Shirtless men, men in underwear, swimwear. Carving on nude female figure on furniture.


    Prescription medicine, tetrachloride mentioned. A man offers a pleasure drug to another man during sex. Drug addiction ("California diet" weight-loss pills, cocaine). Consuming pills, sorting cocaine into lines, rubbing gums with cocaine seen; snorting noises heard. Alcohol (beer, champagne, cocktails). Smoking. Gambling (slot machine).


    S-words, a-words, b*tch. Religious references.


    Liberace, cabaret, fame, love, piano, music, talent, homosexuality, foster care, adoption, legacy, opulence, wealth, flamboyance, loneliness, cosmetic surgery, paranoia, AIDS, bitter breakups, infidelity, secrets, privacy, age difference.


    Deceased mothers, gravely ill/deceased partner, relationship breakdown. Estranged father mentioned. Hospital, church, funeral settings. Dogs, dog attack (theatrical), horse, pig/pork (mentioned), dog poo, plane, vomiting. Furs worn and mentioned (fox, mink, raccoon). Kennedy assassination, blood poisoning, near-death experience, dialysis, cardiac arrest, autopsy, AIDS mentioned.


    Superb performance from Michael Douglas, excellent supporting cast. Acute direction, focused screenplay; astounding make-up, costume and set-design. Hypnotic, strange, moving.


    Predictable tangent, factual inaccuracies.

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