Time: 111 mins.
Won Academy Award for Best Actor (Cage). Nominations for Best Actress, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
SYNOPSIS: Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera who he moves in with while he tries to kill himself.
BOTTOM LINE: A film that could be "none more black" that leaves you with a spark of hope and an experience of true love you won't soon forget. If you're one of those moviegoers who needs their flicks to end happy with everything tied in a neat little bow, you will really hate this movie about a down and out screenwriter trying to commit suicide by drinking himself to death. Not exactly the quickest way to go, but probably one of the more enjoyable, if you don't mind the hangovers and vomiting. Ben is looking for something to live for on the way to the bottom of every bottle. He miraculously happens to meet Sera, a hooker played by Shue, who becomes the love of what's left of his life.
Their story, one of two very broken people who manage to find just a touch of happiness and acceptance in their lives, will leave you breathless. Nothing about their existence is fun and it's certainly not easy to watch, but it is incredibly honest, painful and real. Never have I seen a love story where the characters have such great chemistry and yet are still so completely alone. Both Shue and Cage give the performances of their careers. While they are onscreen this film is mesmerizing. When they're not, it kind of drags and falls into disappointing plot conventions that are not worthy of their talent or the story. Granted the film needed some scenes away from Cage and his drunkenness, but the machinations of Sands as Shue's pimp were as ridiculous as they were scary. This is Figgis' most complete film, bringing two very complex characters to bitter, heartbreaking life.