One reviewer of the new-on-Blu Ray Leaving Las Vegas notes that after the history books are written on Nicolas Cage and his multiple and terrifically awesome meltdowns, Leaving Las Vegas may be considered his artistic peak.
Masterful as the film is, commenting on Leaving Las Vegas is hard to do. It simply is what it is, as real and uncompromising a story as there can be. The problem with these films is that they garner rampant critical acclaim, and are usually ignored by everyone but a small segment of the movie-going population who are still loyal to their small-town indie theater. Leaving Las Vegas was made for an incredible $3.6 million and thankfully broke the mold, proving a commercial success. Figgis valiantly utilized the favored guerrilla filmmaking tactics of the pure independent world. Some of the longer tracking shots on the streets of Vegas were done in one take, simply so that they could avoid police notice and dodge shooting permit fees.