“You want to help animals?” Liberace barks back. “Pick up the dog shit.”
Throughout “Candelabra,” Thorson is subjected to repeated humiliations. He is Liberace’s obedient minion and body servant, literally, as the wrinkled old diva lusts creepily over Scott’s taut flesh and ultimately forces him to have it hacked up by a plastic surgeon so he can look like Liberace. The only time Scott doesn’t take a back seat to his keeper is when he takes the front seat of a Rolls-Royce to drive Liberace on stage where he can adored by fawning multitudes – while Scott is ignored in the shadows.
The same thing — without the creepy lusting part — has happened at award shows to Damon, who has been upstaged by Michael Douglas, who loves to tease his co-star about it all.
Douglas thanked Damon at the Emmys: “This was a two-hander, and you’re only as good as your other hand … You deserve half of this; do you want the bottom or the top?”
Douglas thanked Damon at the Golden Globes: “The bravest, talented actor I’ve ever worked with, and the only reason you’re not here is I had more sequins.”
Douglas thanked Damon one more time at the SAG Awards: “Matt, I want to be serious right now. I know we’ve gone head-to-head, but the truth is I am not here without Matt Damon. Matt, this is yours too.”
The awards are half Damon’s, but of course they all end up in Douglas’s house.
Damon is really the star of “Behind the Candelabra.” The film is based on Scott Thorson’s book, told from his point of view, and Damon has the most screentime. But Douglas has the showier role, impersonating a recognizable public figure — and of course all those sequins — so whichever half of the trophy Douglas wants to give Damon credit for, Douglas is always the one on top.
But not at the BAFTAs. “Candelabra” is eligible there because it had a theatrical release in the U.K., unlike the U.S. where it aired on HBO, and the British Film Academy singled out Damon’s performance — albeit in the supporting category — while completely skunking Douglas in the lead category.
They did Damon the additional favor of snubbing the Oscar-frontrunner, Jared Leto, who has been even more of an awards hog than Douglas, winning everything in sight as a transgender AIDS sufferer in “Dallas Buyers Club,” leaving the door open for a new winner.
So now that Damon has a category all to himself, will the British give him the adulation so cruelly denied him by American awards groups and the Hollywood Foreign Press? To do so, they’ll have to deny one of their own: Irish thesp Michael Fassbender, who currently leads our racetrack odds as the sadistic slave owner in “12 Years a Slave.”
But this will be the last chance for any awards group to give Damon his just desserts, as well as the opportunity to get on stage and offer Douglas the bottom half for a change.
Do you think Damon can win BAFTA? Do you think he should? Make your predictions and comment below: