The 39th Deauville American Film Festival, which takes place in northwestern France August 30-September 8, has selected Steven Soderbergh’s HBO-produced Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra” as the opening night film.
“Behind the Candelabra” is, according to Soderbergh, the director’s final film as he makes his shift to television. It premiered at Cannes in May before its HBO debut, and met critical acclaim (our TOH! review here). Though the film has been hotly debated due to its ambivalent portrayal of the late pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his gay romance with Scott Thorson (Matt Damon), “Candelabra” soars thanks to the charismatic performances of the leads, locked and loaded for Emmy nominations this summer. Douglas, Damon and Soderbergh — slated to give a master class — will be in attendance when the film opens Deauville on August 30.
The fest also announced that French actress/director Valerie Donzelli (“Declaration of War”) will lead the jury as president, and that Deauville will stage a tribute to prolific Hollywood producer Gale Anne Hurd. She has produced Hollywood blockbusters directed by James Cameron, Ang Lee and Michael Bay, among others. Her latest production, “Very Good Girls” with Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning, was recently previewed at Sundance.
Watch the trailer for “Behind the Candelabra” below.