Pig ★★★★½

"What happened to the persimmon tree?"

"What's a persimmon?"

"It's a uh... it's an orange fruit. Looks kind of like tomato. You can't eat it if it's not ripe; it's awful. But if you give it time, it gets rid of these things called tannins and then they are very good."

"I don't think we have a persimmon tree."

"No? That's okay."

"Did it die?"

There are only two types of cinema in the world: Nic Cage movies and Nicolas Cage films. Thankfully, Pig is the latter of these.

What an extraordinary debut from Michael Sarnoski, who takes the Revenge Thriller trope we all know so well and then contorts it into a well-disguised, tender dissection of the complicated layers of sublimated grief.

The heart of this picture is Cage who goes full method; I was with him every step of the way, synced in from the moment he came on screen. Robin is a man of few words and even fewer baths, and what Cage does with this character here is normally too eccentric for the picture surrounding him, but he is so perfectly in tune with what Sarnoski and Sarnoski's script with Vanessa Block are doing here that he possibly gives his best performance this side of the twenty-first century. Add in a tonally rich score from Alexis Grapsas and Philip Klein, grim gorgeous photography from Patrick Scola, as well as strong supporting work from Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin and this is easily one of the best of year so far and should stand up still as one of the best come year's end.

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