"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, August 22, 2009

SNMR 7.2: "Leaving Las Vegas"

GREEN'S SHOPPING CART FULL OF ALCOHOL REVIEW:

Ben Sanderson (Nicholas Cage) is an alcoholic who has hit rock bottom in his personal and professional life. After being fired from his job he decides to cut all ties to his life in Los Angeles and move to Las Vegas. There he can peacefully drink himself to death and no one will notice. What he doesn't count on is meeting worldly hooker Sera (Elisabeth Shue) with whom he forms a relationship based on mutual respect and unconditional acceptance and ultimately, love. Will their relationship change the course of their lives? Maybe, maybe not.

First of all, I have to say that I don't think Nicholas Cage deserved to win the Best Actor Oscar in 1995 for this role. Was he better than Richard Dreyfuss (my personal fave), Sean Penn, Anthony Hopkins or Massimo Troisi (who?) who were also nominated that year? No, I don't think so. Should he have been nominated? Sure, I'll give him that as he did turn in a moving performance, even if he over dramatized it a wee bit. Part of my thing with Cage is that he's either hit or miss with me. There's no middle ground.

I've always liked Elisabeth Shue as an actress, who more often than not gives you a solid performance in the roles that she plays. Rightly though she was nominated for Best Actress for her part in this movie, but did not win.

It's kind of unusual that the screenwriter/director would also have the music credit to his name but such is the case with Mike Figgis here and in other films he's worked on. I think that Figgis did a good job with the music for this movie as it seemed fitting to the story. His direction though was so-so. Didn't really do anything for me. In fairness, I have not read John O'Brien's original novel so am unaware how much of it was left out of the screenplay or what was changed. Perhaps the book is better. What I learned from reading the promotional material included in the DVD, is that O'Brien himself was an alcoholic who committed suicide at age 33, about two weeks after learning his book was going to be made into this movie.

Without realizing it, the DVD I watched was the unrated version of the film, with a few brief, extra (probably nude) scenes not found in the R rated theatrical version. What extra scenes there were didn't add anything to the story as far as I could tell.

I'm not saying this is a horrible movie but neither am I saying it deserved all of the praise it received. Still I enjoyed watching it - I only dozed off once but quickly recovered to scan back to what I missed.


*** out of *****

Leaving Las Vegas (1995, R, 112 minutes) starring Nicholas Cage, Elisabeth Shue and Julian Sands. The film was directed by Mike Figgis and based on the novel by John O'Brien.

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3 Comments:

At 25 August, 2009 13:43, Blogger Stephanie Faris said...

I thought Nicolas Cage was pretty good in that but I guess I miss the days when Nicolas Cage actually ACTED. He had such promise...but he sold out. Is that politically incorrect to say? Sorry...but I just feel like he turned in his talent in exchange for a career as the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As for Richard Dreyfuss...I have a sour taste in my mouth for him because I had a friend who was doing a documentary and he was a colossal asshole about it. This friend had interviewed half the bigwigs in Hollywood and the only one who was a diva was Dreyfuss...who's now, what? A pretentious college professor in L.A. somewhere? Apparently he believes he's better than...well, everything and everyone.

 
At 25 August, 2009 14:12, Blogger green said...

Steph: I loved Nicholas Cage in the "National Treasure" films - thought he was perfectly suited for the role, but for the most part he's hit or miss with me.

You most definitely can be politically incorrect here. Heck, I certainly have been.

Richard Dreyfuss may indeed be a male diva and he very well may be an asshole in real life. Maybe he was just having a bad day the day your friend was doing the documentary. We'll never know.

When I refer to Richard Dreyfuss as my personal fave, I'm specifically referring to his role as Glen Holland in "Mr. Holland's Opus", one of my favorite feel good movies, for which he was nominated for Best Actor alongside Nicholas Cage. Comparing the two performances, I think Dreyfuss was way better and more deserving of the Oscar.

 
At 30 August, 2009 21:47, Blogger Blanche said...

Green-have you seen "I love you man" yet? it is hilarious

 

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