This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. It's graduation season, and that means 20-somethings and parents sitting through long commencement ceremonies while the older and wiser give advice. Here's comedian Stephen Colbert speaking at the University of Virginia.
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Credit Keystone Features / Getty Images
Liberace sits at a gold-leafed piano in the living room of his then-new Hollywood mansion in November 1961.
Credit Claudette Barius / HBO
Soderbergh made his name as a director in 1989, with the critically acclaimed Sex, Lies, and Videotape. He's since turned in crowd-pleasing hits like Magic Mike, Erin Brockovich and Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, as well as more adventurous films including Contagion,Solaris and The Girlfriend Experience.
Director Steven Soderbergh had been looking for a way to frame a film about the extravagant entertainer Liberace for years when a friend recommended the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.
The book — a memoir — is by Scott Thorson, who for five years was Liberace's lover, though that wasn't publicly disclosed at the time.
Halfway through The Unwinding, George Packer — author of the highly praised The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq (2005) — delineates how quickly political idealism can disappear when one becomes exposed to a world of easy money.