Nicolas Cage with a hefty gray beard, hair in dirty wisps to the shoulders, living in a wooden hut deep in the woods around the American city of Portland, a pig with which he looks for truffles as his only company: in the calm opening sequence it is still possible in all directions, with Pig.
Cage plays hermit Rob, living on his own, remarkably lovingly baked savory truffle pie and bartering with the lost Amir (Alex Wolff), who regularly reports weekly in a bright yellow Chevrolet: fresh truffles for some food and a handful of batteries. We hear the first shreds of a hidden past through a dull-sounding cassette tape with his name on the label. When Cage is knocked down in his hut apparently out of nowhere at night and the invaders steal his pig, it seems to go in that direction for a while: the contrarian cult film starring Cage as the revenge-hungry eccentric, a type of role he has played in recent decades. played countless times, unfortunately with a limited number of successful examples (Mandy).
The beauty of Pig is that debuting director-screenwriter Michael Sarnoski and co-screenwriter Vanessa Block do indeed deliver a revenge film to a certain extent, one with which they flirt fully with the image of their protagonist, but then told in their own, cool style, without the usual and often end up in Cage’s short-lived b or c film territory.
In search of his pig, Rob travels to Portland with the help of Amir, where he ends up in a world that seems just a little more peculiar than the supposedly normal reality. It’s kind of a make-believe world, where people gather in the basement of a demolished hotel for things that can’t stand the daylight and where Rob rages in a chic restaurant against the metier of the modern chef: the ‘deconstructed’ food served here is miles away from the way he digs up truffles with his pig in the ground.
A real antagonist emerges (Adam Arkin’s terrifyingly controlled role as Amir’s Mafia father) but otherwise dictates Pig especially his own rules. Comparison material in recent American cinema is scarce, in terms of subtly-estranged story world Pig at most what think of the crime movie Brick, the idiosyncratic debut of the later Star Warsdirector Rian Johnson.
The most powerful factor of Pig is nevertheless Cage himself, who is spectacularly restrained by director Sarnoski. No one can let his character philosophize so playfully about the end times and French toast over breakfast, only to dive into the pain of a lost past with a convincing melancholic look in the next scene.
Directed by Michael Sarnoski
Met Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin
92 min., in 48 halls