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199 words about Pig
Caged pearls and swine
Michael Sarnoski’s Pig has ingested many Nicolas Cage movies. Its body uses them. Indeed, if Pig has a genre, it’s Nicolas-Cage-subversion. There are elements of mystery, thriller, culinary criticism, Fight Club, but all those ingredients are just delicate spicing on the meat. The plot structure’s goofy Nic Cage revenge flick but the movie plays its beats against that swing. Which could be too knowing, but the film does it with purpose; it subverts to push in reverse against the tropes and potential of violence it presents. Nicolas Cage holds himself back, becoming a very human cipher. The film uses that and a wonderful supporting turn from Alex Wolff to build a relationship with the viewer. Once trust is earned, Pig gives us not what we wanted, but what we didn’t know we needed — not catharsis, but grace. The whole thing’s built around a couple key moments, one a line of dialogue delivered perfectly by Cage and the other a Ratatouille-esque reaction to a meal; if those moments don’t hit, then the movie won’t work. The film ends with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” It’s not an obvious choice, but it is the right one. That’ll do, Pig.