Michael Douglas transforms himself into the Las Vegas entertainer with style and, most of all, believability. Liberace was larger-than-life to say the least, and it would be easy to go the SNL route with a character by painting him with broad strokes.
Crammed with garish decor, wild costumes and some unapologetically affected central performances, the final chapter in the life of flamboyant pianist Liberace gets a feisty, full-bodied treatment here.
With a lovely musical score by Marvin Hamlisch and Douglas and Damon perfectly comfortable with, you know, the gay thing, this is less surprising in its depiction of Liberace as a rampant queen than its authorised view of him as a complete bastard.
In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, this is a project that might have gone terribly wrong, but ranking high on the entertainment meter, it smacks of authenticity, has pizzazz, humour, poignancy and above all, heart