Who sings the song Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas is a multi-award-winning American drama directed by Mike Figgis from 1995. The screenplay is based on the novel of the same name by John O'Brien, starring Elisabeth Shue and Nicolas Cage.


Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic and professionally and privately failed screenwriter, decides to go to Las Vegas to drink himself to death after burning all his household effects. There he met the prostitute Sera, with whom he soon developed an intense friendship. However, with special rules: Sera must not try to prevent Ben from doing his job. In return, Sera's livelihood should not be an issue between the two. A deal that is only superficially viable. Despite all the desolation or hopelessness of the respective perspectives, a special form of love has developed, which in the end cannot change the fact that Ben finally implements his plan.

Background and miscellaneous

  • Leaving Las Vegas was shot on super 16mm film material, a film format that is completely uncommon for Hollywood productions today.
  • John O'Brien's literary source processes experiences the author has had with his own alcohol addiction. Two weeks before the start of shooting Leaving Las Vegas O’Brien committed suicide at the age of 33.
  • Nicolas Cage got drunk in preparation for the role and had a friend film him so he could learn how to speak when he was drunk.


With Leaving Las Vegas In the opinion of most critics, the director succeeded in creating an impressive psychodrama. The film critics particularly praised the oppressively realistic portrayal of an alcoholic, for which Nicolas Cage received an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award, among other things.

“An unadorned inventory of human ability to suffer and love, in which documentation and poetry meet in a depressing and unsettling description of existential borderline situations. In its uncompromising consistency, for some viewers a film that is certainly difficult to bear, which refuses moral categorization and instead invites reflection on individual fates. - Worth seeing."

- Lexicon of International Films

“[The movie] does not promise any kind of salvation. It shows the frenzy and the delirium, it shows the smacking, the gurgling, the trembling, the gagging, the drooling, the throwing up, and with all this it lets the man experience a love story on the way to death, the horror of having to die strangely transfigured and transformed. The enormity of this love gives the film its pull, its magic, its shocking power. [... The] music emphasizes that here you are telling a story full of nostalgia, that you sing the song of the loser again, celebrate the lonely downfall, the romance of self-destruction. "

- Urs Jenny: Der Spiegel 17/1996: A place for losers[1]

“The pictures show this condition as a natural obsession: As if it were about the passionate enjoyment of a person at archery or at the tea ceremony. They are images on the verge of madness, but poetized in a way as if they offer moments of the highest sensual pleasure. [...] Why the two do what they do, the film does not answer. [...] In their moments together, however, a solemn peace shimmers. [...] The city is, emphasized coarse-grained and recorded with a shaking hand camera, staged like a supermarket of civilization, like a richly filled chamber that only offers the space to self-destruct in peace and comfort. "

- Norbert Grob: The period 20/1996: Cinema: "Leaving Las Vegas" - A drinker film by Mike Figgis[2]

“'Leaving Las Vegas' is not a forgiving drama, but an irreconcilable delirium. Great cinema because it's about life, even when it's about death. "

- kino.de[3]

Some awards and nominations


  • Oscar in the category Best Actor (N. Cage). Also nominated in the categories Best main actress (E. Shue), Best director and Best adapted script
  • Golden Globe Award in the category Best Actor / Drama (N. Cage). Also nominated in the categories Best film / drama, Best director and Best main actress (E. Shue)
  • Independent Spirit Awards in the categories Best main actress (E. Shue) and Best feature film, Best director and Best camera. Also nominated in the categories Best Actor (N. Cage) and Best script
  • Nominated for the BAFTA Award in the categories Best Actor (N. Cage), Best main actress (E. Shue) and Best adapted script

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Urs Jenny: A place for losers. In: The mirror. No. 17, 1996 (online).
  2. Cinema: "Leaving Las Vegas" - A drinker film by Mike Figgis. In: The time, No. 20/1996
  3. ^ Online resource, accessed April 12, 2007