Pig ★★★★★

This is my 3rd "Post-Plague" film viewed outside of my home, but it really feels like my first. The other two were Raya and the Last Dragon and Mortal Kombat...not exactly the same vibe as Pig.

I saw some interesting trailers as I gobbled down an entire sleeve of Twizzlers and inhaled my beloved blue Icee. I saw a Candyman, I saw something that resembled a Bugs Bunny Acme version of a Wes Anderson film, and I saw Marvel's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Days of Future Past. I loved them all. I can't imagine life without movie theaters. They are my refuge, my sanctuary. 

Nicholas Cage is on another level in this film. The way he acknowledges and denies his acting prowess year after year is not unlike Chef Robin Feld denying his powers in Pig. Cage toys with his "Rage Cage" persona so thoroughly here I ultimately felt let down minutes after the movie ended...and then I went ahead and thought about his performance all the way home.

Imagine being able to have a god-like hold over people because of a unique skill that you have. Imagine summoning that skill, then having it be there whenever you want it to be with a snap of the fingers. That is Robin Feld and that is Nic Cage. Reality blends so perfectly into fiction with this one, it is sure to be held up as one of Cage's best performances. I am already thinking of it as "Top Five Cage" - not just "Top 5 Rage Cage" - but Top Five Cage proper. This isn't really much of a “Rage Cage” film (though the spaz out on the yellow sports car is wonderful), but it does have strong whiffs of Mandy in some sweetly inverted fashion. This is Cage as broken man, the polar opposite of his other shit hot performance of 2021 - Willy's Wonderland. Yet both of these journeys hold keys to his multiple personalities as an actor, and both are "quiet" performances coming at you in a bold, unflinching manner.

We've all heard some version of Cage's "none of this is real" speech in movies before. But we have not heard it the way Cage delivers it to a guy he fired in a previous life. This film makes you want to quit life and live it at the same time. Cage wears all of his previous performances like a ceremonial hair shirt here. He is like a melting candle, pathos bubbling and dripping down all sides of him...a tiny flame still burning somewhere in a mountain of wax.

None of this is real. Follow your spirit animal until it withers and dies. Find it again 20 years after its freshness date. Life is not an endless straight line, but a series of jagged end points followed by cliffs you must swan dive from. Grab hold of what matters to you and jump into the abyss.

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