It's both a romp and uncomfortably real.
Witty, briskly paced and consistently entertaining.
Buffed to a typical HBO high gloss, Candelabra is a visual feast. It shines brightest in those moments where it captures the rhythms of a relationship in its first blush of affection and its seemingly inevitable collapse.
The stunning and quite intimate performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are award-worthy.
The story is told less as a cause-and-effect narrative than as a collection of incidents that add up to something with a crushing emotional weight.
This is one of the strangest and strongest TV movies in memory.
The story as told is just too depressing, too empty and, most of all, too dead and gone.
Soderbergh is clearly captivated, as are we all, by the rot underlying the glitz, but even with Douglas' nuanced performance, the film simplifies too many things.
Matt Zoller Seitz
Whether the biopic Behind the Candelabra ends up being a swan song for director Steven Soderbergh or merely the last entry in one phase of a long career, it's an impressive work.