Curious Pitch. Low profile Release. Near universal Praise.
PIG = Second coming, for NICOLAS CAGE!
If that pattern sounds familiar, that’s because it ought to. Once upon a time, a star was earned. Yes, there were meteoric rises and charismatic scene stealers. But they tended to falter, fail and fall, fast.
One hit Netflix show or Marvel movie did not a move star make and indeed, not every actor actively courted the game or even wanted to do so. Their talent simply demanded a large audience and the blockbusters came to them alongside the artier fare.
So it was, with Nicolas Cage. He spent a solid decade on the arthouse circuit before even looking at the likes of The Rock/Con Air/Face-Off/Gone in 60 Seconds/National Treasure.
The guy did not look like a bland, dependable leading man. This was a character actor. But his sheer force of nature presence and talent ultimately secured both cult and mainstream appeal, after winning an Oscar, too.
Then he ran out of money. That’s right. BUYING CASTLES! BUYING DINOSAUR SKULLS! KEEPING COBRAS AND OCTOPII! That depleted his funds somewhat, necessitating the kind of business model whereby Cage was in work, relentlessly, yet at cost.
The tragic irony is that he was in a way, preserving his own appetite to retain a creative edge which defined him. And yet, at the same time? Cage’s erratic scatter gun film choices were denying him the ideal outlet. Quantity of work is not quality. And you need a constant star presence in mainstream movies to fund passion projects.
Cage faced stalemate in his own career tactics. Aims too diffuse; method too limiting.
The castles thing is funny. Well, I find it funny, anyway. The waste of talent and star power, however, isn’t. You cannot possibly hope to strike gold, creatively, when sourcing yourself to every second straight to streaming project.
And yet? Cage has triumphed. FINALLY, he has found a project that suits his quirkier worldview, without making a joke of that or squandering his invaluable input.
PIG is a meditation on mortality. TAKEN with brains instead of violent B movie thrills. BABE meets Peter Greenaway. Very Cage, basically. And so, the film is getting positive notices all around and at the very least, boosting Nicolas’ profile again, the ‘old’ way. Word of mouth, steady pace, cult following = star power gradually back in demand? The ‘viral’ way!
EVEN RED LETTER MEDIA ARE SINGING THE PRAISES OF PIG!
So do not be surprised by a second wind renaissance in career for Nicolas Cage. He may very well turn up as a mentor figure / villain /lead in a big budget genre picture one of these days, whilst retaining his own artistic identity AND being able to pay his bills.