The biggest worry with Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage is you never know which chameleon performance you’re going to get.
For every Leaving Las Vegas or Adaptation comes a low-rent actioner or D-list sci-fi tilt. For every Face/Off or Con Air comes a Wicker Man.
So I went into his film Pig with low expectations, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Cage – at a few points – was one of my favourite actors. The unhinged nephew of Francis Ford Coppola may be zany, whacky, and sometimes hilariously over-the-top, but he’s never been afraid to go all in.
With Pig, his turn as a truffle hunter is disquieting and moving, with none of the ticks and antics that have made Cage the meme-king for years.
As a tortured man who goes in search of the foraging pig who is kidnapped from his home in the Oregonian wilderness, he gives the most grounded turn of his entire career.
You can see the pain on Cage’s face as Rob, a former legend who has gone into the hiding to escape his painful past.
Writers Vanessa Block and Michael Sarnoski create an intense, difficult film that Cage translates into a stunning portrayal of a broken man. Sarnoski, who is also the director here, allows his star the room to make important decisions with his performance, and it works.
The performances from young Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin are fantastic, but make no mistake: This is Cage’s movie, and you can feel his presence in every single frame.
It’s an absolute triumph in every sense of the world, and a reminder of just how powerful Cage can be.