pig .jpeg
pig

★★★★★

director: Michael Sarnoski (debut)

starring: nicholas cage, alex wolff, adam arkin and cassandra violet

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

A truffle hunter 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.

Nicholas Cage is back baby! Well, not that he ever really went away more that apart from 2018’s Mandy, the role Cage is given here in Pig matches his immeasurable talent. Now Pig isn’t some John Wick action rehash with a pig instead of a dog, it’s a different beast altogether. 

 

After an age in the Hollywood wilderness, Nicholas Cage returns, poetically, as a man living deep in the forest with his truffle hunting pig. With a powerful yet restrained performance, Cage gives an acting masterclass in the art of stillness. Pig is more than just Cage's performance however, it's a pained exploration of suffering, regret and forgiveness and a simple yet powerful reminder to give one's life to what you truly care about. 

 

Rob, a truffle hunter 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.

 

While Pig starts off as a hunt for Rob’s truffle hunting pig, it soon develops into something a hell of a lot more deeper and meaningful. As the narrative unfolds we begin to discover why Rob is living as a hermit, cut off from civilisation, and the past that still haunts him. 

 

It’s a narrative that director Michael Sarnoski perfectly balances. Heartbreaking but not sentimental, simply executed yet running deep - a perfect feature film debut from Sarnoski. Pig’s also an artfully crafted film - gorgeous cinematography and production design, with simple yet beautiful editing choices and one of the best scores of the year from Alexis Grapsas and Philip Klein.

 

But when people talk about Pig, they’ll all be talking about Cage’s performance which has created a lot of Oscar buzz from within the film industry and fans alike. While he’s best known for crazy, wide eyed performances, here Cage is wonderfully restrained while artfully communicating the grief and rage that boils within him. It’s a perfect, masterful performance and one of the best of his career.

 

With a powerful yet restrained performance, Cage gives an acting masterclass in the art of stillness. Pig is more than just Cage's performance however, it's a pained exploration of suffering, regret and forgiveness and a simple yet powerful reminder to give one's life to what you truly care about.

★★★★★