This film is a slow-moving story about a man and his struggles with loss and death, while trying to enjoy fine food. It's strange. It is, in fact. It is ultraviolent? It is not. Is Nicolas Cage a victim of revenge? It all depends on your definition of revenge.
Cage portrays Rob, a mysterious and grubby truffle farmer who lives in the woods around Portland, Oregon. He prefers brooding to showers, and spending time with his adorable little brown furry truffle-pig is his only source for moderate joy. Amir (Alex Wolff, Hereditary), is a Camaro-driving truffle seller who comes once a week to purchase truffles from Rob and share some wisdomcracks about Rob's weirdness. Rob is a great guy and just sort of drifts along with his life.
Rob brutally kidnaps his beloved pet, causing loud squealing and a blow to the head. His pig, the only member of his family, is gone when he wakes up. He is quiet and restrained, still covered in blood, but he has recruited Amir to assist him in his search for his piggy.
It doesn't include shotguns or handguns. The search involves a lot of conversations, some animated, and ends when the kidnapper has been found and taken care of. One odd, semi-violent Fight Club scene is included in the film that doesn't belong there. Rob's investigative methods are the best in restraint, vulnerability. His character's true origins slowly reveal his innermost thoughts and actions.
Cage is allowed to shout a few times, but the script calls for him to mumble a lot. His character, like in the fantastic Mandy is looking for something that has been lost. However, he doesn’t drink vodka or wear a cool shirt with tigers. This is perhaps the most reserved Cage performance, and more in line with his work on Joe than Color out of Space.
It's refreshing for me to see Cage slow down, be more serious, and less prone to disemboweling people. While I love his screaming and disemboweling people, it's something that I kind of enjoy about Cage. But, watching him change gears and discover new facets of his talent over the years is something I have loved. Although he has had his fair share of mistakes, he is always looking for the best in material.
Cage has become accustomed to acting crazy. Cage doesn't actually win the "Gonzo” award in pig. David Knell, a pompous chef who shares Cage's best scene in the film, is awarded this distinction. Knell is one those actors that you may not recognize by name but who's still around ( Total Remembr, Alf). He's the man who said "We're no twins!" Splash. Cage is still sane, even as he unravels in front of our eyes. The conversation about restaurants was clearly intended to be a metaphor for Cage’s acting career and is the best writing in this movie. Wolff, who apparently considers Cage his favorite actor, is a fun wingman. Adam Arkin plays Amir's stoic dad in a few powerful scenes.
Although the material is excellent, it is sparse and soft in its presentation. This film is art at its best. It is deliberately paced and has an evocative soundtrack. There's also a lot of talk about fine wines and truffles.
This film is not for everyone. This film is not going to be a cult favorite.