In Michael Sarnoski’s film, Nicolas Cage plays Rob, a truffle hunter living in self-isolation in the Oregonian wilderness. When his beloved foraging pig is kidnapped, he must venture into Portland where he has to face the past from which fled fifteen years prior.
Those expecting a John Wick style action extravaganza will be sorely disappointed by Pig. It’s a contemplative film about loss. Cage’s Rob is a former genius high-end chef who has walked away from a glittering career. His gift is exquisite, but he’s turned his back on it and his relationship with his pig is his lone emotional connection. The other relationship he has is with Alex Wolff’s Amir – the young food supplier to whom Rob sells his truffles. It’s hardly a friendship, but they soon become closer when Amir helps Rob on his quest to find his pig.
Co-written by Michael Sarnoski and Vanessa Block, Pig is a well-drawn character study which throws Cage’s Rob and Wolff’s Amir together. Both men have very different emotional hang-ups and together they’re able to find some sort of healing. As a director, Sarnoski keeps things uncomplicated and he lets the performances do the heavy lifting. Everyone in the cast excels – but Cage really rises to the challenge of the material. He doesn’t rely on his usual ticks and tricks, but he finds an internal resonance with the character which is filled with abject sadness. It’s a contemplative turn and it’s one of Nicolas Cage’s finest performances.
Following a limited cinematic release in 2021, Pig grossed $3.1 million at the US box office and more than $3.76 million globally.