- One of Liberace’s (Michael Douglas) houseboys sashays up to him and Scott (Matt Damon), wearing the tightest whitest trousers you’ve ever seen.
- The costumes (white ostrich feather capes, 15 feet trains)
- The opening scene to Donna Summer’s I Feel Love is discotastic
- M Douglas’s performance – giggling, campery, purring voice, prancing around the film
- Liberace’s unrealistic, bouffed wig – wigs are just camp full stop no?
- Liberace’s stage appearances (in a white Rolls Royce)
- Matt Damon’s costumes (diamond encrusted white chauffeur outfit, tiny white trunks)
- The interior decor of Liberace’s home (golden furniture, marble columns, mirrored walls, opulent to a point well beyond vulgarity) makes Versailles look like a back bedroom from a semi in Stevenage. Lee Liberace refers to it as ‘palatial kitsch’ and it certainly is.
- Rob Lowe as a plastic surgeon with a face as tight as a drum. Liberace asks if he’ll be able to close his eyes after his plastic surgery, and Lowe replies, ‘Not fully, but you’ll be able to see everyone looking at how amazing you look.’ Hence Liberace sleeps with his eyes partially open!
- Liberace lived in a time where he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) come out to the public, yet within his private life, inside and outside his home, he was out, visiting gay bars and clubs.
- Liberace lived with a string of younger men, each one discarded for the next brighter, younger one as he came along.
- He meets, Scott a 17 year old man who he quickly takes under his wing. He pays for Scott’s plastic surgery (shown with graphic detail) to make him look like a younger version of his 58 years, and encourages him to take diet pills. If this were made up it would have echoes of a fairy story, but since it’s true, it takes it to a whole new level of darkness.
- Their relationship breaks down; Liberace moves on to another young man and repeats the whole cycle again. This part has shades of Boogie Nights, as you witness the gradual descent of Scott’s life from Liberace’s soul mate, to collecting his things in black bags. As he’s gathering his things from the house Liberace bought him, Scott comments that he doesn’t even have his own face any longer.
- Liberace’s death, wigless and pallid, as he calls Scott, asking him more than once if he’s not sick. Scott arrives at his bedside and Liberace admits he was the person who made him most happy. He said to Scott, he didn’t want to be thought of as another queen who died of AIDS.
What did you think of it? Have you seen it at the cinema if you’re in Europe, or on TV if you’re from the USA? I’d love to hear your views.
Until next time