Leaving Las Vegas

In keeping with the prevailing designer-vomit Hollywood style of glamorous despair, Mike Figgis adapts a novel by the late John O’Brien about the impromptu romance in Las Vegas between a former Hollywood executive drinking himself to death (Nicolas Cage) and a hooker (Elisabeth Shue) who loses her pimp (Julian Sands, playing a Latvian). Like so much else, this 1995 movie prides itself in being terminal in its view of human failure, is shot like a perfume commercial, and is accompanied by a dreamy set of golden-oldie standards. Needless to say, the plot goes nowhere, but under the pornographic circumstances Figgis, Cage, and Shue all do fine jobs. (JR)

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