If you’ve been a longtime reader of Flixist, you should know that we have respect for Nicolas Cage. The man is a national treasure, pun intended, but our love for him doesn’t just come from the memes. Never forget that this is a man who won an Oscar for acting and continues to star in roles that push beyond the public perception that he’s just a loud and insane man. It’s performances like his one in Pig, where he plays a world-weary and isolated chef, that deserves true merit and praise, which we can give him by awarding him the 2021 Golden Cage for Best Actor.
Cage’s turn as Robin Feld is all about understatement. He never outright tells the audience who he is or what his history is because it’s unnecessary. Like John Wick, he’s a man defined by a simple goal of reuniting with his pet, in his case his truffle pig. Everything Cage does is laser-focused on that goal and we really do see the determination in his eyes. We see the rage that he feels for the people that wronged him, but also the love that he feels for his beloved pet. We also see his return to a world that he chose to abandon and just how much the world of cooking meant to him. Despite his self-imposed exile, he still loves to cook.
If you want to see why Cage deserves the Golden Cage for Best Actor, all you need to do is queue up a scene in the middle of the movie. In it, he’s at a restaurant trying to find out information about who bought his pig. The head chef comes out to talk to him and becomes sycophantic over Cage’s presence. Instead of giving in to the lavishing praise thrust upon him, Cage is stoic, playing things close to the chest. We don’t know what he’s going to do, what’s going through his mind. We only know that by the end of the scene, the cook is in tears and contemplating all of the life decisions he made and how much he lost sight of his passion. All because he decided to talk to Nic Cage.
If that’s not worth the Golden Cage Best Actor award then I don’t know what is.