Right out of the gate, LEO LAS VEGAS gets gritty and real with its unflinching look at an over-the-hill Las Vegas show performer, an interesting character story right off the bat. But of course, when you add in the arrival of his estranged ex-wife and her own agenda, it gets real interesting, real fast.
The director, Wolfgang Muchow does a great job never overlooking the details that define the title character's life, giving us juicy tidbits like the shoe polish in the hair and the long, LONG drink of booze before the show. Even little objects like a cheap lighter take on a deeper symbolism in his hands.
And even beyond that, raw and honest moments like the way Leo tries to hype himself up and the arrival and "greeting" of his ex-wife are unforgettable.
The film is cut at a kind of blazing pace, so you have to pay attention to get what's going on, but once you settle into the style, the story, the emotion, it's all there.
Great work for a first time director. Refreshing and ballsy. I look forward to his next.
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