Movie Title: Pig
Director: Michael Sarnoski
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin, Cassandra Violet, Julia Bray, Elijah Ungvary, Beth Harper, Brian Sutherland, Gretchen Corbett, Sean Tarjyoto, Darius Pierce, Kevin Michael Moore, Tom Walton, Davis King, Nina Belforte, David Knell, Dana Millican, Dalene Young, October Moore,
Review: "A truffle hunter (Nicolas Cage) who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped." That is what is printed on the back of the Blu-Ray package for the movie... and that perfectly sums up the plot of Pig, but there's more going on in this surprisingly rich drama.
When you see that Nicolas Cage has a new movie out, for your viewing pleasure, you might think that it's going to be a low-budgeted, slapped together dumpster fire, but Pig is a quiet, emotional movie that not only deals with the loss, grief, and sadness, but it shows that Nicolas Cage is still a hell of an actor.
Nicolas Cage plays Rob, a revered chef that has become a recluse after the death of his wife years earlier. Now he lives in the secluded woods of Oregon with his truffle-hunting pig. One day the pig has been stolen and Rob must return and reconnect with the world he left behind not only to find his beloved pig, but himself.
Cage is so good in this movie. With very little dialogue he is able to express his sorrow, but his masterful skills in the culinary arts. As I watched I began to think that this movie is kind of a comeback vehicle for Cage. It really shows that he can be a brilliant actor with the right material. He makes the movie better by being in it and he is better in it because of the script and filmmakers behind the camera. Everyone involved is at the top of their game.
Now, Pig is not for the average movie-goer. It's a slowly-paced, sad story, but it is very well made and its characters and plot drew me in. And as the movie went along I became deeply interesting in not old Cage's character, but his young truffle-dealing sidekick played by Alex Wolff. I would watch a movie just about this deeply flawed, insecure character. He was just as fascinating as Cage's dishevel chef.
The movie is not formulaic in any way. I thought it might be a revenge movie about a crazy guy living in the woods goes to the big city to get revenge on those that stole his prize pig. Sounds so bad it's good, right? But I was so surprised by the somber tone of this tale. It's really a character piece that shows how unsuccessfully people can deal with or avoid dealing with a tragedy or guilty or regret.
I enjoyed Pig very much and I think people looking for movie that's actually about something, makes you actually feel things, and gets you to think about it long after it's over. Nicolas Cage gives a tour de force performance that makes you appreciate him even more and hope that he does more great work like this in the future. This is a prime example that good movies are still getting made and we still have talented writers, directors, editors, crews, producers, and actors out there get them made.
Fun Fact: In an after film Q&A, director Michael Sarnoski revealed the pig only had three days of training and bit Nicolas Cage multiple times. After a particularly nasty bite, Cage joked: "I've been set on fire, I've been in flipped cars but it'll be sepsis from a pig bite that kills me."