Of all the major directors of the past 20 years, Steven Soderbergh has always seemed the least emotional. His movies certainly never take a bath in the stuff. So it doesn’t sound like much to call Behind The Candelabra (HBO, 5.26) his most emotional and touching work. But I don’t mean it lightly. This HBO movie (which will play theatrically in Europe) truly touches bottom and strikes a chord. It’s a sad (but not glum or downish), movingly performed drama about a kind of marriage that begins well and then goes south after five years. Richard LaGravanese‘s script is complex, fleshed-out and recognizably human at every turn, and performed with considerable feeling and vulnerability by Michael Douglas (easily the top contender right now for a Best Actor prize) and Matt Damon.
Behind The Candelabra star Michael Douglas during this morning’s Cannes Film Festival press conference.