An alcoholic wants to end his life, through drinking. He starts a love affair with a very tolerant prostitute.

The Mike Figgis movie, Leaving Las Vegas (1995), is hardly a masterpiece. Even so, it can be appreciated, I think, as would-be Edvard Munch on film, a flashy cinematic Scream.

I said flashy: the film’s artiness works against it—the slow motion, the many fades to black. Moreover, when Ben the alcoholic is discovered by Sera the prostitute having sex with a strange woman, the plot element seems rather cheap, rather implausible. As Ben, Nicolas Cage is good. As Sera, Elisabeth Shue is perfect, and both clothed and naked she is beautiful. I never saw her in such flicks as Cocktail and The Underneath, but I suspect that American cinema has underused her. Probably she ought to be cast in some important roles now.