Written April 03, 2008
Absolutely gut-wrenching and difficult from beginning to end, to long after you have watched this film! Very few films can worm themselves into a person’s psyche, but this one is more than capable: script, sound, music, photography, acting, theme, presentation all conspiring to tell a story that will resonate at the darker edges of our humanity. Nicolas Cage as Ben is a tour-de-force making Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend) look placid. Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a prostitute, complimented Cage as a heart-breaking character of despair and destruction. Both are bent on self-annihilation. Together they spell out a complex mixture of pain, fear, nihilistic and morbid thinking, failure, loss, and an absence of sanity. This story has more to do with relationships and love than with sex and more to do with holding on than with letting go, but such is buried deep within the chasm where death is no longer frightening and life is no longer worthwhile. You will be stunned.
Written March 20, 2012
an alcoholics life to the T. Great
Written August 12, 2009
There are many times in this movie where it is painful to watch Nicolas Cage go through his alcohol problem to the point the viewer simply feels abused. But that progression is what makes this a great character centered film. We see Elizabeth Shue try desperately to help Cage out of his deep need and what him to get help. Very emotional performances by both and well worth watching.
Written June 27, 2009
Mike Figgis' LEAVING LAS VEGAS is at times excrutiating to watch and yet absolutely riveting from opening montage to poignant fade out. Nicholas Cage gives the performance of a lifetime here as the hopeless alchoholic determined to end his life and Elizabeth Shue follows him every step iof the way as the prostitute who quickly falls in love with him. On target, cinema verite-like examinatinon of destructive personalities and the desolate places one can end up in life. Startling acting from everyone involved but it really the two leads who domiate the movie and really draw you in, in spite of their ugly drawback and seamy situations. A marvelous movie!