jason__kelly41’s review published on Letterboxd:
The greatest actor of all time, Nicolas Cage, proves once again to the mainstream what he can do when he finds an excellent script. I don't care if Cage's filmography isn't the most reputable, he has a large array of straight to VOD messes but no actor gives his all in every single movie like Cage does and very few actors can pull off any range of roles like Cage can, from social anxiety to depression to being fully unhinged, Cage has show he can portray anything that comes his way making him not only my favorite but one of if not the best actor of all time.
Now to get into Pig itself, well let me start off by saying it's my new favorite film of 2021 as of right now. Even with the high expectations set by the overwhelmingly positive array of reviews for Pig, I was still absoloutely blow away by this film. The beautiful way this film portrays a human and animal connection is so unique to any film. Cage donning a large grey beard and long hair has an emotional connection to the pig that's shown in the first few scenes as we see Cage take care and truffle hunt with her. The chemistry between Nicolas Cage and an actual pig is actually oddly amazing and it makes the pig's kidnapping that much more upsetting. After the Pig is kidnapped, this is where everyone was expecting the film to turn into another John Wick rip-off and yet the film never loses it's grounded sense of reality. Even when the film feels like it can take a turn into absurdity to create drama, it never goes there. It always stays reserved and Cage's more reserved, quiet persona in this film matches the vibe and energy perfectly. Alex Wolff as the young business-person who Cage sells his truffles to is also fantastic and his chemistry with Cage is ridiculously great. They play off each other so well creating off-beat humor that gave me some geniune laughs. Wolff is seriously so talented and I'm very fascinated in seeing where his career goes in the future, I'm excited to see him in M. Night Shyamalan's "Old" hopefully this weekend!
Now back to Pig, this film has two incredibly important and memorable Cage monologues. Both of them are about how so much in life means nothing, the people who you want to impress, the false identity people build for themselves, even the very place you live will eventually over time be destroyed so why do things like that have so much importance in our everyday lives? It seems cynical but it really isn't, it just deepens the emotion in the film as you can tell Cage is making these references of materialism meaning nothing because his connection with his pig is what truly matters to him. Most people have pets they adore and the human-animal bond/connection is explored so beautifully in this film. I have two cats who mean the world to me and seeing Cage connect so much to a pig, while every person he encounters says "just get a new pig" it's not like that. You can't replace animals, the bond created can never be destroyed and this film shows that in the most excellently beautiful way I could have ever imagined. I won't get too far into the plot because I feel it's best to know nearly nothing going into this film because it deserves to keep you guessing and at every moment it will. Cage's emotional range in this film is amazing, he may seem soft spoken and reserved at times but a mention of his pig and his anger flares, he'll do anything to protect his pig. This film gets extremely emotional at times as well and combined with the outstanding Cage performance you get the best film of 2021 so far.
Of course this is a slow-burn so it isn't for everyone but if you can handle slow-burn's (the film only clocks in at just over 90 minutes so it's not a lengthy slow-burn) you're in for brilliantly filmmaking matched by a brilliant performance. I'm honestly split between giving this a 4.5 or a 5. I went in with 4.5 in my mind but as I wrote this I think I've realized even more how much I loved this film and I'm going to give it a 5. Please, please watch this if you can, Nicolas Cage deserves the world.