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Leaving Las Vegas


Roger Davidson

Leaving Las Vegas
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One of the most critically acclaimed films of 1995, it features an Oscar-winning performance by Nicolas Cage as an Alcoholic writer, who moves to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and falls in love with a prostitute (Elizabeth Shue, in an Oscar-nominated performance), who learns how to feel deeply for this lonely depressed man. She too eventually falls in love with him and together they make the perfect Vegas couple. They are two lost souls in search of meaning within their lives.

The performances by Cage and Shue (two of my favorite actors) are superb. Completely different from what they've done before, Cage adds stunning realism to his part, as does Shue, who's character is far from the stereotypical hooker with a heart of gold. The direction by Mike Figgis is quite good too. The script needed some drastic work though. Most of the supporting characters end up being sleazy cliches of Las Vegas inhabitants and it's too depressing at times to tolerate. But, if you're a big fan of Cage and Shue, then this is the perfect film for you.

My Rating = Three Stars

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