At the height of his success, the masterful pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) found companionship with Scott Thorson (Matt Damon), a young man with aspirations to become a veternarian.  Steven Soderbergh's film tells the unusual tale of their relationship in an intimate, occasionally satirical, but ultimately oddly poignant fashion.

Key to the film's success is the absolutely brilliant cast, spearheaded by a career-best performance from Michael Douglas as Liberace, whilst aspects of his personality are gaudy, at times a little creepy, he manages to create an uneasy dynamic between a sort of lost soul cast adrift in his own rhinestone encrusted world and a man who has never really had much in the way of an honest connection.

Contrarywise, Damon's Thorson at first finds Liberace to be a peculiar presence, but over time his dependency shifts, he becomes needy and envious, and his insecurity finds comfort in addiction.

It's a fascinating dynamic that the pair create, when Thorson first reels off his potted life story Liberace seems disinterested at best, but ultimately - selfishly - relies on Thorson as a crutch for reprieve from his own sad tales.  It is a warped self-interest, one that is heightened by Liberace's foray into plastic surgery, getting the comically terrifying Dr. Jack Startz (Rob Lowe) to remake Thorson in Liberace's image in scenes that resemble a celebrity satire helmed by David Cronenberg.

Ultimately the film is an unexpected romance, one that focuses primarily upon the breakdown of the relationship, how sometimes we can be blinded to the connections that really matter to us, that we can take things and one another for granted.

Whilst humour is often derived from laughing at the world which Liberace inhabits, the film's brilliance is to find the relatable humanity at the core of this strange story.