Leaving Las Vegas

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Leaving Las Vegas is a 1995 romantic drama film directed and written by Mike Figgis, based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by John O'Brien. Nicolas Cage stars as a suicidal alcoholic who has ended his personal and professional life to drink himself to death in Las Vegas. While there, he forms a relationship with a hardened prostitute, played by Elisabeth Shue, which forms the centre of the film. O'Brien committed suicide two weeks after production of the film started. A halt was considered, but work continued as a tribute.

Leaving Las Vegas was filmed in super 16mm[1] instead of 35 mm film which is most commonly used for mainstream film, although 16 mm is common for art house films. After limited release in the United States on October 27, 1995, Leaving Las Vegas made its nation-wide release on February 9, 1996, receiving praise from critics and audiences. Cage received an Academy Award for Best Actor while Shue was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film received nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director.

Contents

Plot

Ben Sanderson (Cage) is a Hollywood screenwriter whose alcoholism costs him his job, family and friends. With nothing left, he goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There he meets Sera (Shue), a prostitute, and a friendship and understanding develops. As he drives drunkenly down the Las Vegas Strip, he almost hits a woman in the crosswalk (Sera), who chastises him. Ben checks into a sleazy motel called The Whole Year Inn. As he looks at this the wording changes to "The Hole You're In." Meanwhile, Sera is a prostitute for an abusive pimp, Yuri Butso (Julian Sands), a Latvian (actually russian) immigrant. Polish mobsters are after Yuri, so he breaks his relationship with Sera in fear that the Poles may hurt her.

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