Director Michael Sarnoski / 2021 / USA

MIFF’s beloved Nicolas Cage is back with a film perfectly suited to his particular set of skills: a revenge thriller centred on a stolen truffle pig (crazed Cage), but with a sober, unruffled tone that showcases the Oscar winner of yore (praised Cage).

Cage stars as Rob, a hermitic Oregonian truffle hunter and former chef who lives alone in the woods by choice, with only his beloved foraging hog for company. Less pet than livelihood, the sow has value for Rob that is more than just sentimental. So, when she’s pig-napped in a violent raid, Rob is forced to return to civilisation – and the past he deliberately left behind – as he goes looking for the animal, and the swine who took her.

Also featuring Adam Arkin (The Sessions, MIFF 2012) and Alex Wolff (Hereditary), the feature directorial debut of Michael Sarnoski has earned early comparisons to Taken and John Wick, but is decidedly its own beast. It’s not so much man-on-a-rampage as it is a sometimes-bloody but composed exploration of psychological damage – a character-driven drama that delves into the not-so-tasty side of haute cuisine. Pig allows Cage to deliver a more soulful, finely calibrated performance that once again proves just how eclectic and magnetic an actor he is. If you made it through MIFF’s overnight Cage-a-Thon in 2018, you already know this.

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