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Synopsis: Inspired by the true story of the relationship between piano supremo Liberace and his young lover Scott Thorson over the period of 5 years in late 70s and early 80s.

Main Cast: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Dan Aykroyd, Debbie Reynolds, Rob Lowe

The Hype: This has been heavily billboarded here in the UK and is due for a cinema release today. HBO has already shown it due to the movie being one of the channels own creations and I was lucky to see it late last week.

What I Thought: I have to admit, I don’t know an awful lot about Liberace. I knew he played piano very well and I also knew he was gay, although HOW anyone at the time did not realise this I will never know. I suppose it was a different time and attitudes were much more reserved. The story is very enlightening to the relationship between these two men, and although it is not really a happy tale overall, there is a lot of material to work from. The film is based on the book of the same name by Scott Thorson and he goes into great detail.

Michael Douglas as Liberace is fantastic. He manages to carry off just the right amount of campness, so as not to overdo it and force it onto the viewer, but he still remains forceful enough to show that Liberace was a formidable character if it was required, and it very often happened that way, particularly in his personal relationships. Matt Damon, although much older than the real Thorson was at the time, does a very good job and this movie does go to show that if you give him decent enough material, he will generally perform very well on-screen. There was obviously a good budget for this film and it shows on set with the extravagance that Liberace himself would have been proud of.

Conclusions: If you don’t know much about the story, then check it out. If you like Michael Douglas, even a little bit, then check this film out, I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it was and I have to give it a good mark. This is possibly too early for any sort of Oscar thoughts, but it would definitely go on my list of candidates for something in February next year. Unfortunately, it will have been forgotten about by many by then to warrant anything which is a shame because it really is a good film.

Smurfin’ The Web Rating: 4stars