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Leaving Las Vegas

3.9 out of 5 stars 454 customer reviews

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(Jan 31, 2006)
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(Jan 01, 1995)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After drinking away his family, friends, and his job, Ben, an avowed alcoholic, heads to Las Vegas to end his life with one final binge. On the strip, he picks up a street-smart hooker named Sera. Their chance meeting becomes a brief rest on the road to oblivion.

Amazon.com

One of the most critically acclaimed films of 1995, this wrenchingly sad but extraordinarily moving drama provides an authentic, superbly acted portrait of two people whose lives intersect just as they've reached their lowest depths of despair. Ben (Nicolas Cage, in an Oscar-winning performance) is a former movie executive who's lost his wife and family in a sea of alcoholic self-destruction. He's come to Las Vegas literally to drink himself to death, and that's when he meets Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a prostitute who falls in love with him--and he with her--despite their mutual dead-end existence. They accept each other as they are, with no attempts by one to change the other, and this unconditional love turns Leaving Las Vegas into a somber yet quietly beautiful love story. Earning Oscar nominations for Best Director (Mike Figgis), Best Adapted Screenplay (Figgis, from John O'Brien's novel) and Best Actress (Shue), the film may strike some as relentlessly bleak and glacially paced, but attentive viewers will readily discover the richness of these tragic characters and the exceptional performances that bring them to life. (In a sad echo of his own fiction, novelist John O'Brien committed suicide while this film was in production.) The DVD features uncut, unrated footage that was not included in the film's theatrical release. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • "Hidden Page" menu feature

Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Shashi Bhatia, Kim Adams, Valeria Golino
  • Directors: Mike Figgis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (454 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792838068
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,056 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Leaving Las Vegas" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Watching `Leaving Las Vegas' can be an experience that takes a gloomy sadness to the interiors of your existence and keeps you immersed in it. As human beings, we consistently put the highest premium on our being alive. Experiencing the intensity of a despondent Nicolas Cage committed to taking his life by drinking himself to death, can trigger off a question as to what can prepare someone for such an act of self-destruction. Intriguingly enough we get no clear answers though there is a clear hint as to it might have been a profound sense of loss or failure.

Singular focus on the moribund obsessions of Cage would be gross injustice to the incredibly touching love and empathy that he shares with the lead female protagonist - Elisabeth Shue - who plays a hooker's role with levels of dexterity rarely attained. There is a very deep understanding and mutual acceptance between the two lead characters that is in many ways the true highlight of this movie. Interestingly, we see no reasons for this to exist but such is the articulacy of characterization that not even for a second does one find this profound relationship unrealistic.

'Leaving Las Vegas' is an iconoclastic love story whose control over the audience is fascinating. Such is the brilliance of the performances that you feel a lump in your heart by the end of the movie - and this lump transcends into the depths of your being - to stay there and to remind you that unconditional love exists and so does the capability to invite your own death to walk up to you - gradually and consistently. 'Leaving Las Vegas' is a movie that would haunt you for its portrayal of love intertwined with morbid realities of life.
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Format: DVD
"Leaving Las Vegas" is a dark and tragic film that shows you how low you can fall and just how bad things can get. It portrays a dead-on picture of alcoholism and what exactly one goes through when they've hit rock bottom. As tragic as it is, this is a very beautiful and well-done film that keeps your attention to the bitter end.
Ben Sanderson (Nicholas Cage) is an alcoholic who has nothing left to live for but the very booze that seems to be the only happiness he can find. His friends want nothing to do with him and women are disgusted by him. After being let go from his job, Ben burns all of his possessions and moves to Las Vegas, where his only plan is to drink himself to death. In a short amount of time he meets Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a lonely hooker who has been through it all. An unexpected bond is formed between the two and love falls upon them that can only end in tragedy.
Boy, was this a hard movie to watch, but it was so well-done and executed. You are able to sympathize with both Ben and Sera, despite the paths they have chosen. Nicholas Cage was amazing and brilliant. No wonder why he won an Academy Award for his performance. You really buy into the fact that he is this sad character who wants nothing more but to destroy himself by the only thing that can bring him some sense of false happiness. Shue is also terrific in her role and should be applauded as well. The two are explosive as a team and can really bring the house down.
The DVD is fair; nothing too special. You can have your choice of either watching the movie in widescreen or full screen. The picture for the most part looks good; not the best, but good. The main special feature this DVD offers is a trailer for the film and a bonus secret page.
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Format: DVD
This film is not for most people; it's very morose and gruesome at times, and it won't be entertaining and satisfying in the same way most mainstream movies are. It does however provide a very shocking and revealing look at the lives of a hopeless drunkard and a lonely prostitute.
Nicholas Cage and Elizabeth Shue are superb portraying their characters and their skill is the driving force of the film. That isn't to say, however, that the directing, music, and screenplay weren't excellent as well.
One particularly important aspect of the film is the relationship that forms between Cage and Shue. Some reviewers describe it as sincere love, however, I don't agree. Both Cage and Shue are desolate and vulnerable. The natural thing for both of them to do when they meet is to seek refuge in each other. Shue might love Cage, but it's more out of desparation for company than what she sees in him. Cage's interest in Shue is somewhat more confusing. Before his introduction to Shue, I got the impression that he was completely detatched from anything earthly. The relationship he maintains with Shue suggests otherwise though. I'm not really sure, yet, what to make of Cage.
I never really knew what alcohol could do to a man until seeing this movie. Sure, a random drunk on the street is a common sight, but most people, who don't have a friend or family member with the problem, don't realize the extreme extent to which the obsession can develop. I'd recommend this film to anyone older than 17.
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Format: Blu-ray
This is a horrendous transfer, looks close to VHS quality... I own an import version and it is literally about 3x clearer. This edition looks like they took the cheapest route possible and used 2nd or 3rd generation prints to create this Blu-Ray, with quality worse than the DVD. PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS DISC - BUY THE IMPORT VERSION INSTEAD, AND WRITE/EMAIL/FACEBOOK/TWITTER TO UA/20TH CENTURY FOX to let them know you are boycotting this shameful release. Demand a refund if you purchased already!!!
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