Director 's Behind the Candelabra not only received rave reviews, it garnered 3.5 million viewers when it premiere May 26 on HBO. The movie was also a Palme d'Or contender at Cannes. We still haven't heard whether this year's Palme d'Or winner, a lesbian romance called Blue Is The Warmest Color, will get a theatrical release due to extensive, graphic sex scenes, but we know why Soderbergh's latest did not: It was too gay.
While promoting the film, Soderbergh explained why Hollywood turned its nose up at the Liberace picture:
Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town. We needed $5 million. Nobody would do it…They said it was too gay. Everybody. This was after Brokeback Mountain, by the way. Which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us…[The people at HBO are] great and they're really good at what they do, and ultimately I think more people will see it, and that's all you care about. Studios were going, "We don't know how to sell it." They were scared. (Via Mother Jones)
The fact that this movie won't be up for any sort of Oscar nominations is incredibly sad. and both give award-worthy, haunting, hilarious performances. Unless this is suddenly picked up for theatrical release, Soderbergh and co. won't truly get the recognition they deserve.
It's interesting that Soderbergh is semi-retiring by transitioning over to TV, a medium which is now unequivocally distributing bolder content than the theatrical studio system.