Nicholas Cage has reinvented himself in recent memory, proving himself to be a masterful actor if presented in the proper role, with Pig being his best performance in years.
If I told you right after the Wicker Man came out in 2006 that Nicholas Cage would be in a film 15 years later playing a truffle forager whose beloved truffle-finding pig is stolen, you would’ve laughed in my face with excitement over its ridiculous logline.
Although the description may lead the audience to expect a full-blown Cage-Rage film, what we got in return was a reserved and beautiful film about grief, the meaning of life, and forgiveness.
In his directorial debut, Michael Sarnoski tells the story of Robin “Rob” Feld (Nicholas Cage), a former Portland-based chef who is now a reclusive truffle forager.
Rob’s closest companions are his beloved truffle pig and Amir (Alex Wolff), a young and inexperienced supplier of luxury ingredients to high-end restaurants. One day, Rob’s truffle pig is stolen, leading Rob back into the city to find who took his pig.
The Anti-Revenge Message Of Pig
If you haven’t seen Pig yet, my most extensive advice to you is to not go into it expecting a bloodbath with Nic Cage’s character killing everything in sight looking for his pig. It’s slow, plotting, and has a more profound message than just Rob on a never ending quest for his pig.
The anti-revenge motif of the film couldn’t have worked out well if it wasn’t for Nicolas Cage’s performance. He’s incredibly dialed back, more so than I’ve seen in years. It’s a reminder that Cage is an A-list actor for a reason. He didn’t randomly stumble into his success, but rather earned it with his acting talent; he just needs the right role like any other actor.
Pig’s strengths aren’t just a result of Cage’s performance but are spruced up by additional support from Alex Wolff. Truthfully, Wolff’s performance was a bit underwhelming at first. Still, his powerful delivery regarding his relationship with his mother will win over any naysayer of his acting.
The film primarily follows the two, but every character introduced throughout adds another layer of excellence. David Knell is hilarious as Chef Derek Finway, and Adam Arkin is the perfect father figure as Darius. No one stuck out badly from the film, and it truly lets the two main protagonists in Cage and Wolff stand out.
Besides its strength in its cast, Pig’s plot is entirely unpredictable. It’s challenging to initially predict who took Rob’s pig and where the story goes. One of the most significant areas of Unpredictability occurs when Rob walks into a fight club for Chefs.
❝If you’re not crying by the end of Pig, you may want to check your emotional levels to make sure everything is in check.❞
Rather than become the pivotal moment of Rob entering the cliche Cage-Rage moment, he lets himself get beaten to gain information for his pig. Still, the film’s unpredictability has some weaknesses.
The central weak scene in particular is near the end when Rob and Amir prepare the dish for Amir’s father. It felt off (how did Darius not hear them in his kitchen?), but it doesn’t ruin the film. Just a minor off-scene that felt somewhat easy and careless to throw in compared to the rest.
I also loved everything with Rob’s character and what we learn as an audience about his past as a chef and his wife Lori. Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” couldn’t have been a better closing track for his storyline.
If you’re not crying by the end of Pig, you may want to check your emotional levels to make sure everything is in check. What I feel is a staple in Nicholas Cage’s filmography and a beautiful debut from Michael Sarnoski, Pig is a great film every film fanatic should view.
Although there are minor awkward moments throughout, its unique plot, Cage’s performance, and cinematography make it worthwhile alone.