PIG is directed by Michael Samoski; it’s his directorial debut. The film stars Nicolas Cage, with supporting performances by Adam Arkin and Alex Wolff.
Rob is a truffle hunter who lives in the woods with his trusted truffle-sniffing pig, living a lonely but comfortable existence, with relatively little human contact and knowledge of the current outside world. When his pig is kidnapped, he must team up with his usual truffle buyer, going to the city, uncovering clues from the locals as to where his pig might have ended up. But who is Rob really, and what connections does he have to the town and the people in it?
PIG is a brilliant character study starring one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men, and if you didn’t know better, you’d have no idea this movie was the work of a first-time director. The plot summary makes PIG sound like a JOHN WICK knock-off that swaps out Keanu Reeves for Nicolas Cage and a dog for a pig, but in actuality the two movies are vastly different. Despite what you might be expecting, PIG is a character study with very little action, yet one that keeps the attention of the audience with its twists, turns, and the performance of its leading man.
Nicolas Cage has long made a name for himself in Hollywood with the diverse roles that he plays, and PIG gives him another challenge he rises to brilliantly; it’ll be absolutely criminal if he doesn’t get a Best Actor nomination for his work here. Upon reading the summary of this movie, I was expecting to see Mr. Cage go on a killing rampage, but interestingly the movie goes in a completely different route, giving us a multi-layered character who isn’t all that he seems at first glance. The revelations and plot twists hit hard, yet they’re completely believable and work well.
The overall atmosphere and pacing of the movie are impeccable, and the movie barely clocks in at an hour and a half, making it fast paced while still involving and fully developed. There’s no wasted time here, and the script is one of the best of recent years. The movie I got here definitely wasn’t the one I was expecting, but I mean that in a surprisingly good way. You never know what’s waiting around the corner in PIG, and it’s why the movie was easily one of my favorites of the year.
The settings of PIG are surprisingly diverse, from cabins in the woods to the dining floors of luxury restaurants, and everything looks fantastic. From the rustic to the urban, it’s a beautifully shot film that you won’t want to take your eyes off as the plot unfolds. Prior to seeing the movie I read things along the lines of it being made on an extremely low budget and nearly an hour’s worth of content needing to be cut out for pacing purposes, but the end result still feels full and satisfying in every way.
PIG was one of the unexpected surprises of 2021 in film, and I’m glad to see Nicolas Cage is still at the top of his game, which this movie demonstrates from start to finish. The movie’s completely the opposite of what you may expect given its plots summary and choice of star, but the results themselves don’t disappoint. Highly recommended and one of the best movies of the year!