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Leaving Las Vegas back to product details

The Tragedy of the Common Drunk
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written by RJones3 October 26, 2007 - 8:39 PM PDT
0 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This is a tough, visceral, but ultimately bleak movie. It has fine performances from its principals and, within its limited emotional range, strikes hardly a false note. That said, I must reflect a little on its implications. The movie has been called "a darkly comic tragedy," but tragedy is not the right word. Arthur Miller argued for the tragedy of the common man, but his Willie Lohman had something that Ben is totally lacking--self-respect. As the story of a man who sets out to destroy himself, this movie does not rise above the level of pathos. There may, however, be another level to the story that has been largely overlooked. One can sense it in the repeated episodes of rejection against the backdrop of a cold commercial society--the final loan, the jealous bully, the banning and eviction--which stand in contrast to the unconditional acceptance of each other by our pathetic lovers. Could this be a movie about charity?

Why was this movie made?
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written by berkleo November 15, 2005 - 5:23 PM PST
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Because slobbering drunks are just so enigmatic and fun to be around? To show how even the most jaded, albeit gorgeous Vegas hooker could fall in love with the aforementioned spewing wreck if he'd only forgo the two hundred dollar blow job and ask "could we just talk instead?" Surely it wasn't just an elaborately staged masturbatory fantasy in which a dying man finally gets an erection with his penultimate consumptive breath which the beautiful blond in devoted attendance can then mount and send him blissfully to his end. Why that would make this film just A COLOSSAL WASTE OF MY TIME. There is nothing redeemable about this film: the story is sordid and cliched, the depiction of alcoholism is absurdly romanticized, the acting is perfunctory, the direction is mundane with misguided attempts at being "arty". An ugly joke on the viewer at best, "A darkly comic tragedy" - no.

darn good depressing movie
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written by lividsnails January 15, 2005 - 8:02 PM PST
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Well, maybe to really appreciate this movie you just have to be in one of those dark depressing places in your life when you think what a waste it's all been. I'm there (which is why I'm watchin' all the movies I can get from Greencine!) I'm depressed about my life and these people have it so much worse. But they *still* manage to find someone wonderful(ly human) to fall in love with. Not a love story?? Whaddya mean it's not a love story??? What's love all about if it's not two people wanting to help each other get through this terrible human existence? This is a love story. It's a beautiful love story. They're all fucked, everyone's fucked, the world is ugly and these characters are so involved in it all. I loved this movie. The acting is impeccable. The music is such a perfect fit for the story and feel of it. It's got a nice balance of lightness and heaviness and it's perfect in that it never quites get to climax for this couple. Things always fall apart. Until the end and then maybe it's too late. I dunno. These characters live lives that are completely alien to me and yet the director made me feel so much empathy for them. That's some good work.

Lividsnails' Blog

My Five Opinions--Leaving Las Vegas
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written by likehollywood January 7, 2005 - 12:19 PM PST
0 out of 6 members found this review helpful
1. The soundtrack annoys me. It hasn't aged well.
2. This is no love story. No Love Story, either.
3. Elisabeth Shue looks lovely without that taking away from the essential seediness of her character.
4. Nicholas Cage was good, but I wish he'd nailed down his character's self-pity better. Such romanticism!!
5. End-stage alcoholism involves a LOT more blood, vomit, urine and other excretions that we see here. For all its "realism," Leaving Las Vegas only begins to show the nastiness of this kind of death.

www.marleemacleod.blogspot.com

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(Average 6.65)
558 Votes
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