Tag Archives: Steven Soderbergh

Behind the Candelabra

Director: Steven Soderbergh, Main Cast: Matt DamonMichael DouglasRob LoweDan Aykroyd

It’s the story of the turbulent relationship  between an aged Liberace and a much younger man, Scott Thorson. It is based on the latter’s autobiographical novel: all the glitter and glamour of fame and money, living the life in Las Vegas as, basically, a boy toy. It is a honest telling showing both lights and shadows of Scott’s life with Liberace. Michael Douglas does a pretty impressive job as Liberace, he’s also helped by the outrageous costumes and setting. Matt Damon is quite good, though he lacks the ability for a truly nuanced performance. The use of bright, happy colours for the first part of the film and then a more subdue light is spot on, a trademark of Soderbergh, to get the audience more involved in the story.  Enjoyable and unconventional. —7.5/10

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Filed under Seen at the cinema

Side Effects

Director: Steven Soderbergh, Main Cast: Rooney MaraChanning TatumJude LawCatherine Zeta-Jones

A young woman (Mara) falls back into depression after her husband (Tatum) comes out of jail after a 4 year stint for inside trading. She seeks help after an attempt suicide, starts seeing regularly a psychiatrist (Law) and taking medication. Things do not improve until she tries a brand new anti-depressant and begins to flourish. Up to this point the film seems a story about monsters from the id and how to deal with them, well, not really because the plot thickens when Mara’s character kills her husband (Tatum dead so early in the movie is a treat!) while she’s sleepwalking…a side effect of her medication. The focus of the tale moves to the psychiatrist and the unraveling of his life; he desperately tries to understand what happened  and uncover a very cunning scheme. Soderbergh’s moral is: greed is what moves the world. The cinematography and the lights are effective to set the mood and the cast is quite convincing but not enough to really sell the story. It felt disconnected, which maybe was the whole point. —6/10


Filed under Seen at home