Nicolas Cage gives one of the best performances of his career in PIG, an anti-revenge drama if such a thing even exists, and one of the most endearing films I've ever seen. Filled to the brim with striking cinematography and a beautiful soundtrack, PIG is eloquent while being subtlety funny at times. A romantic's John Wick, PIG is easily one of the best movies of the year, if not the best.
If this seems like a bit of a deep dive when the subject is trendy restaurants in Portland, Pig is a serious movie with heady themes that just happens to come at you from oblique and unexpected angles.
This is primo Nicolas Cage dialogue, inquisitive and soul-deep, the kind of stuff he was born to say. To hear and watch him in this movie is like greeting an old friend. Pig seems to have come out of nowhere, but we’re lucky to have it.
Despite its fine atmospheric cinematography and excellent performances, director Michael Sarnoski's debut feature doesn't serve up a story to match its ambiance and trappings. While watching this offering, I got the distinct feeling that I was being strung along, hoping that its cryptic unfolding would result in a satisfying payoff yet suspecting it wouldn't live up to that promise -- a suspicion that proved correct. In this story of a once-noteworthy chef who turns into a reclusive truffle hunter in the Oregon wilderness after a personal tragedy, we find a sad and lonely protagonist who becomes distraught when the only thing he truly cares about -- his beloved pet foraging pig -- is kidnapped. The incident prompts him to launch a committed search for the purloined porcine, one that necessitates a return to his Portland roots and his troubling past. Strangely obsessive and offbeat as the story may seem, it's executed with a surprising degree of credibility, yet it never quite attains a level of engagement that would make viewers really want to care about what's going on, cold as that may sound. It also attempts to wax philosophically on a number of occasions, though this aspect of the narrative, like the story line overall, nevertheless feels underdeveloped. Still, the film marks Nicolas Cage's commendable return as an actor worth taking seriously, and it shows considerable potential for a new filmmaker. But, sadly, there's not enough here to reach out and grab the audience's attention to give them a vested interest in how it all turns out. Better luck to the director in bringing home the bacon next time out.
Pig is an emotional film that hits a few highs and lows throughout and is capped off with a fitting performance by Cage. Definitely felt like the story was stretched out a bit to hit that 90-minute mark and it can be a little slow at times because of it. The scene with the underground fight club didn't really make much sense but sure, why not.
It's a flawed movie but a tolerable one. Worth checking out but not one really worth ranting and raving about IMO.
Just because the ingredients are all there for a soulful, beautiful, thoughtful movie it is missing a pulse. The same mistake made over and over by filmmakers with semi-mute characters: you need more interesting moments than walking. All the cinematography in the world can't save the idea that there isn't much meat on the bone here.