Zac’s Flick Pick: ‘Leaving Las Vegas’

Poster courtesy of United Artists

Poster courtesy of United Artists

Zac Younkins

Nicolas Cage is one of the most perplexing performers of modern day cinema. Many critics and fans praise him as one of the all-time greats of the craft of acting, while others are turned off by his intensity and relentlessness in cranking out B-movies.

For many, the fact Cage had two Academy Award nominations resulting in one win for best actor is not enough to convince them of his mastery of the craft. For those I have one recommendation: Leaving Las Vegas.

Cage portrays an alcoholic who, upon losing his job, embarks on a dramatic and tense quest to Las Vegas to drink himself to death.

His romance with Elisabeth Shue’s character, a prostitute, truly tests the bonds of human relationships. Can he fully accept her career, and can she adversely put up with his drinking?

This is one of those films that was just “too real” for some people. Cage’s downward spiral into the bottle is unbelievably compelling to watch and is by far his most committed performance, far above even his complete insanity in the maddening Vampire’s Kiss.

Cage’s genius is rarely refuted in the acting community. Leaving Las Vegas is the film that solidified Nicolas Cage as my favorite actor.

Contact Zac Younkins at [email protected]