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Leaving Las Vegas

The one that convinced me Nicolas Cage was one of the most versatile chameleon actors in Hollywood. Anyone who's as comfortable in a film like this as mindless action movie dross like Con Air and National Treasure has something special to offer.

It's a fable of a faded screenwriter who comes to a crushing decision to stop deluding himself and accept that his career is over because of his drinking problem. He moves to Las Vegas with the explicit purpose of drinking himself to death, and there is bought partly back to life by his friendship with a street hooker (Shue).

The cheesy bringing back to life and rediscovering love is the same story that's been done everywhere from this film to stupid kid comedies like Game Plan, but Figgis has an eye for the contemporary zeitgeist, and it's all done with enough sensitivity and honesty to make it a joy to watch.

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