Pig

Pig ★★★

"There's nothing here for you anymore, there's really nothing here for most of us."

Where to begin with Nicolas Cage‘s latest endeavor? For starters, it’s titled Pig, and the story is about Cage’s bearded Oregonian wilderness-living recluse searching for his kidnapped truffle pig. What many, including myself, thought would be along the lines of A24’s drama First Cow meets Mandy actually turns out to be a bit more complex and intriguing than the title suggests. The likes of John Wick underworld-building subterranean fight clubs and private wine selections inside of tombs are a couple of fascinating tonally unexpected insights to NEON’s latest film. Even watching the trailer, you won’t really know the full scope of this film until you actually take a bite yourself.

As I said, Pig‘s plot is focused on Rob (Cage) looking for his beloved pig, after a group of cabin invading strangers steal it. Teaming up with the restaurant owner he sells truffles to, Amir (Alex Wolff), he must return to his old stomping grounds of Portland. While there are certainly some moments of comedy and expected outbursts from Cage, Pig plays out far more like taking a date on a fine dining experience: dramatic, intimate, tasteful, filled with unexpected corners and revelations, and with a sense of personal discovery. It’s a good feature directorial debut from Michael Sarnoski, and a promising entry for somewhat new cinematographer, Patrick Scola. If there’s one thing I can assure you about Pig, it is that you won’t really know where the story is taking you. 

A large portion of the film doesn’t even rely on Cage speaking, whereas Wolff—who has been appearing everywhere since Hereditary—sort of acts as the audience stand-in, helpful yet bewildered by the dirty and at times blood-covered wildman recluse that Cage is, lumbering around in a city and society that he no longer fits in. It’s worth mentioning that Adam Arkin also puts in quite the presence despite only being in the film for a small yet meaningful portion.

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