This movie is a depressing, and brutally honest examination of two people who are gripping-- and losing-- with alcoholism. Like any great work of art, it is a powerful piece that helps the indoctrinated begin to understand the hopelessness those struggling with it can feel. Leaving Las Vegas is not without hope however, and buried deep inside this story of suffering is a reminder that love can reside in even the darkest of places.
A sharp turn from the movies we have reviewed thus far, Leaving Las Vegas is the feather in the hat of the Nic Cage can act argument. Thus far we have seen the strange, and the cheesy, but in Leaving Las Vegas, Nic Cage shows that he is more than capable of subtle and complex acting. Nic Cage portrays his characters struggle with alcoholism-- in a way few could manage-- and sneaks in just enough of his quirkiness to earn himself a one on the scale. This performance won Cage an Academy Award, and after watching it, it is hard to argue against the choice.
This is not for the faint of heart, but it is a very important look at a struggle that will hit home for many people. The topic is handled with a daft hand that doesn't pull any punches, but also manages to avoid being completely bleak. It is not a fun movie, but if your in the mood for something a little heavier you can do far worse.
It also gives credit to Nic Cage as a serious actor, which can be hard to remember sometimes when you look at some of his lesser films. Is this just a flash in the pan performance? No, but it does cause me to ask the questions, if he can act like this, why does he loose himself in so many roles?
Maybe I'll find an answer next week. Probably not.
LA is Editor-in-Chief and Head Writer at Lot 10 Underground. He is an avid Eagles fan and a weary Lakers one. He grew up sneaking through the halls of Hogwarts after dark with Harry and his more talented friends, stumbling along the dark walls of Rock Tunnel in Pokemon Red, storming through flood riddled ships with Master Chief, and questioning Goku's parenting techniques in DBZ. If you'd like to contact him, you can try an owl, but he prefers e-mail.