Nicolas Cage is a force of nature. From the pig-knapping trauma shown in the trailers, and Cage’s recent stint of art-house horror and revenge thrillers (ala Mandy), I was definitely expecting an off-grid Oregon version of John Wick (which I was totally down for, by-the-way). However, these expectations were brilliantly inverted when Michael Sarnoski’s film takes an elegant turn into a tonally reserved meditation on loss, grief, and forgiveness. This is by far the most profoundly moving movie of the year for me, so far – perhaps because it really snuck up on me.
Cage’s character drips with mystique, as his past as a world-class chef is slowly revealed. His legendary status gives him access to a secret underground world of Portland’s crooked restaurant milieu. But these fun, and often funny, genre conceits aside – the heart of the film is how his character (and several excellently acted others who are drug into orbit around the gravity of his need to find his pig) deal with the aftermath of life-changing loss. The simultaneous bravery and vulnerability of forgiveness burns clean through Cage’s best work yet. This movie is a real hidden gem. Or better, the rarest of truffles.