Or, as it might have been called, “Sex, Lies and Fabulous Capes”. If this skewed biopic of Liberace turns out to be Stephen Soderbergh's swansong (as he has threatened), the director leaves on a high.
It paints a picture of the rhinestoned pianist that is less than flattering – as one might expect given it is based on the autobiography of his one-time lover, Scott Thorson, who was turfed out of his life after five years together.
Michael Douglas gives a supreme performance as the world’s most flamboyant showman, alternately charisma personified and reptilian predator, while Matt Damon is extraordinary as Thorson, whose story is as entertainingly outrageous – being forced to have plastic surgery to look more like his benefactor, for instance – as it is quite possibly apocryphal.
The dialogue is catty and the costumes natty – but the narrative is interested more in the rhythms of the central, human relationship than it is in the gilded ephemera that surrounds it. Spirited, sassy, sensational.