Nicolas Cage turns in his best performance since “Leaving Las Vegas” in the extraordinary indie movie “Pig,” a kind of fable about grief, loss and commercialism.
Cage stars as Robin, a hermit who lives a simple life in the Oregon woods, far from society. He lives with his beloved truffle pig, whom he loves and with whom he shares the food he prepares.
His pig (Brandy) helps him find the truffles, prized by the expensive restaurants who buy them and use them in exotic dishes. It’s clear Robin, still tormented, has withdrawn from society some time ago (to tell you more might ruin your enjoyment of the story.)
One night, some people show up and, after they assault Robin, steal his pig.
When Robin, who speaks very little and creates an imposing presence met with disgust everywhere he goes, begins his quest for his pig, the action begins.
Amir (Alex Wolff,) who sells the truffles, takes Robin on his quest. Along the way, people are surprised to see a man they once knew. In many ways, Amir and Robin share their personal torments and losses.
One who gets his comeuppance in an unforgettable and Oscar-worthy meltdown moment works at a restaurant. David Knell richly deserves a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this outstanding performance that’s a great reason to see the film twice.
Cage’s character isn’t the wild man his physical appearance makes him appear to be. Underneath his shaggy hair and filthy clothing – and, at one point, bleeding features – Cage simply wants his pig back. It’s obvious how much he loves her while we watch him navigate a world he purposefully left behind years ago.
Much like the performances and the tale itself, the music composed by Alexis Grapsas and Philip Klein is memorable, too.
At the end, the film lets you draw your own conclusions. Whatever you decide, you won’t soon forget this movie or its characters.
Rated: R for violence and foul language.
Running time: One hour and 32 minutes.
At Cinemark, Davenport.