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Leaving Las Vegas

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las VegasHas to be one of my favourite films. Nichols Cage gives one of the best performances in cinema history as a chronic alcoholic, disillusioned with work, life and his failure as a writer, who gives everything up and goes to Las Vegas with the express intention of drinking himself to death. We’re obliged to go along with him and witness his self destruction as he deteriorates from ‘loveable drunk’, through a series of increasingly tragic and pathetic vignettes, to pitiful wretch. Along the way he meets a hooker/guardian angel who takes him under her wing and tries to ease his passage out of this world.

You never stop liking the guy and this makes his decline even more painful to watch.

I say ‘one of the best performances in cinema history’. Of course this may seem like a ridiculously ambitious claim but I’m prepared to stand by it. Nicholas Cage is a fine actor and this is him at his absolute best. It’s a shame he’s drifted into kids movies and Disney these days. I guess that must be about the only sector of the film industry that’s making money.

Leaving Las Vegas is an 18 certificate. I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable letting anyone who hadn’t yet reached that age watch it. Maybe even best to leave it a few years beyond that.

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Categories: film