Josh Barton’s review published on Letterboxd:
We don't get a lot of things to really care about.
Pig is not the prequel to Jigsaw's pesky henchmen in the Saw films you thought might be coming with the amount of prequels, sequels, reboots and remakes Hollywood loves to churn out these days. It is in fact something else entirely, not so cynical in trying to cash in on a flagging franchise, being a deeply meditative exploration of love and loss. One thing for sure is that it's most definitely one of the most interesting films that 2021 will have to offer.
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.
Michael Sarnoski's directorial debut, where he also shares writing duties with Vanessa Block, is as impressive as they come. It's a character-driven film that shows restraint in its depiction of a man tracking down his stolen truffle pig, so anyone going in expecting this to be John Wick with a pig will no doubt leave disappointed. Don't expect Nicolas Cage to be showing his infamous Cage-rage throughout, believe me it's better not to.
Sarnoski's film is more about the conversations between the characters that covers themes such as friendship and forgiveness in such a mature manner for a filmmaker making his debut. It's beautifully shot, Patrick Scola's cinematography emphasising the darkness of Rob's fury as he desperately searches for the one thing in his life he loves, and the brooding score from Alexis Grapsas and Philip Klein just adds further depth to what is already a strikingly poignant piece of filmmaking.
We all know there's a great actor in Nicolas Cage, a lot of his recent films not really showcasing it too much however, when he gets to work on material such as Pig, the end results are usually pretty exceptional. That is most definitely the case here as Cage delivers a performance driven by desire and captured through the use of facial expressions and gestures. His relationship with Alex Wolff's Amir is an intriguing one and Wolff continues his impressive recent form here in Pig.
It won't be for everyone but there's no denying there is a lot to unpack in Pig and, when presented and performance to such a high standard as this, I can't help but fall in love with it.