Pig was a wonderful surprise — dark, poignant, and powerfully acted by Nicolas Cage. A strange odyssey of love and loss. I had lots of feelings after watching this film. Now on VOD if you missed it in theaters.
Part One: Rustic Mushroom Tart
Pig is not the movie I thought it would be, and that's a good thing. This is a film that took me by complete surprise, bringing out feelings that I am still trying to explain. Pig is a beautiful and, at times, heartbreaking film about life. Pig's emotional core is anchored by the great Nic Cage, who has explored a variety of Indie films (Joe, Mandy, and Color Out of Space) in recent years. Cage has given some of his best work in these Indie films, and Pig continues to prove that right. Michael Sarnoski's directorial debut follows a truffle hunter, who lives alone in the Oregon wilderness with his brown foraging pig. Rob (Cage) is greasy, has long hair, a scraggly beard, and worn down clothes. But, Rob is content with his life and his companion — that brown foraging pig. Rob sells his prized truffles to a local supplier (Alex Wolff), who sells them to Portland's high-end restaurants. Yet, everything changes one night when Rob's cabin is broken into, Rob is beaten unconscious, and his pig is stolen.
Part Two: Mom's French Toast & Deconstructed Scallops
This leads Cage on the move to track down who stole his beloved pig. Amir (Wolff) becomes his ride into Portland and this broken odyssey. Along the way, Rob is beaten and bloodied. But Rob has a mission, making his way up to the top of the underbelly restaurant network. Pig is a slow-burning film, slowly building up emotions inside you that you did not realize you had. This is about as far as I'll go for the plot, keeping the spoilers secret and your viewing experience pure. For being a directorial debut, Sarnoski's craft is impeccable and resonating this Americana fable with a moral compass. Pig is a perfectly crafted picture with vivid cinematography. A tender film of food and the human connection — leaving one with a bittersweet feeling by the end. This cynical world of culinary Portland tries to swallow up Rob and his past regrets. But, Rob keeps his eyes focused and his soul wondering for his brown furry friend.
Part Three: A Bird, a Bottle, & a Baguette
Pig was definitely a film that snuck up on me. By the time the credits rolled, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had just watched a picture so beautiful and so heartbreaking at the same time. I have collected my thoughts over this experience, trying to put it into words. Sarnoski's craftsmanship of gentle storytelling is a power unlike anything I've seen this year. I didn't have much thought about Pig, going into the film, yet I came away with an experience unlike any other. Cage's performance of a man's traumatized soul, is one of the actor's finest works. To put it mildly, Cage is magnificent. Pig is a portrait of many themes — leaving the viewer with several emotions to deconstruct all at once. Good pig.
Pig is rated R (Restricted) For Language and Some Violence.
See Pig in Select Theaters or Rent on VOD.
Directed by Michael Sarnoski
Starring Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, and Adam Arkin.
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