Ben (Nicolas Cage) is an alcoholic whose life is falling apart. He goes to Las Vegas where the bars never close, to drink himself to death. There, he meets Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a hooker, and asks her back to his motel. An extraordinary love affair develops between them. Ben promises to never ask Sera to give up prostitution and Sera vows never to ask Ben to stop drinking. But as Ben deteriorates, Sera breaks her vow and begs him to see a doctor. Ben leaves. Apart and alone, their lives quickly go downhill. They can no longer live without each other. At a cheap motel, the lovers are re-united as their affair reaches a painful but beautiful climax...
- Leaving Las Vegas review by CP Customer
A depressing, yet fascinating, tale of 2 misfits who meet up in Las Vegas and offer some comfort and solace to each other, even if it is only for a short while. Nic Cage and Elisabeth Shue are superb in their roles. Painful to watch, but compelling.
Leaving Las Vegas provided Nicolas Cage and Elizabeth Shue with the best roles of their careers. The acting is astonishingly good. Cage won best actor for his role but unfortunately though Shue was nominated for an Oscar, she did not win. This is a sad, depressing, heartbreaking tale while at the same time a strange and lovely story of two people who fall in love, clinging to each other for friendship and security. Cage as Ben is doomed having moved to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. The opening shows him merrily pushing a shopping cart laden with bottles through a liquor store as he dances to music in his head. There are scenes when Ben and Sera (Shue) look at each other with total acceptance and mad love. It is a difficult movie to watch but well worth it. This is not a glamorous happy ending. It is a tragedy that has the power of an opera.