Directed by: Mike Figgis
Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands, Nicolas Cage, Richard Lewis
Genres: Drama, Romance
Question: How did Nicolas Cage manage to keep his job for so long? You'd think he'd get fired for coming to work drunk the first time.
Chosen answer: On the contrary, the social contacts at work typically tolerate, sympathize with, and even enable alcoholics and other substance abusers, because many of the other employees are also similarly (and secretly) engaged in addictive behavior of their own to varying degrees. Usually, no action is taken until the addictive behavior starts affecting company income, insurance and morale. So, some substance abusers can lead lengthy careers within a company before the hammer falls.
Question: Is Leaving Las Vegas an accurate depiction of alcoholism and intoxication?
Chosen answer: Like any cinematic depiction of ANY behavior, "Leaving Las Vegas" is a depiction of extremes of behavior. Keep in mind that Nic Cage wasn't merely trying to catch a buzz in this film, he was trying to commit suicide-by-alcohol, which is extreme. If anything, Nic Cage's performance was far too animated and articulate for someone dying of alcoholism. Seldom are the final, terminal stages of alcoholism worthy of depiction in a feature film. So, the answer is no.
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Sera: What's up?Ben Sanderson: I was looking for you tonight. I don't know if you've a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, but I thought maybe we could get some dinner.
Moving out to Sera, Ben is packing his things in a motel. You can see a half full glass standing on a bed table on his left. In the next shot Ben is pouring alcohol to an EMPTY glass filling it in 1/3 approx. In the next scene glass is half full again and in the next one - FULL. Eventually he is drinking from a glass full of alcohol.
Nicholas Cage and Elizabeth Shue were so dedicated to the film that she interviewed several real Las Vegas prostitutes while he went on a drinking binge to experience what might happen to his cognition and speech patterns.