ROME – Pig by Michael Sarnoski for the writer is the best film of 2021. Essentially it is the opposite of what one could have imagined. Attention, from the first images we had already predicted that it would be an exceptional work, but seeing it – just an hour and a half – we understood that we would enter an extremely personal story, built on the dark tones of an artisanal and wonderful cinema, while the drama – scene after scene – becomes more and more powerful, almost suffocating. At the center of the story, written by Sarnoski together with Vanessa Block, two characters who, in the end, are the same thing: Robin “Rob” Feld, a solitary truffle hunter, and Brandy, his cunning and irresistible pig who, with an infallible nose , manages to find the precious underground mushrooms, to be sold on to Amir (Alex Wolff), a young and inexperienced supplier of fine culinary ingredients.
Rob and Brandy, in Pig, overlap, follow the same line and intertwine events which, you will see, become uncontrollable: one is the extension of the other and vice versa; they have a symbiotic relationship that goes beyond everything. Both are alone, both are dependent on each other. Then, however, the tragedy: Brandy is kidnapped by two thugs and then Rob is forced to return to the city, in his Portland. Yes, because before retiring she was one of the most respected and sought after chefs in the city. We do not go further, nor do we reveal other details of what is a subdued, delicate and intimate tale in which the (continually and inexplicably) underestimated talent of Nicolas Cage explodes once again, livid, dirty and angry in what is one of his better roles.
Once again, Cage proves to be an interpreter capable of vertically crossing the emotional spectrum, putting feeling into works such as Pig. Films far from the noise of Hollywood and closer to the purity of cinematographic art, the one that still manages to tell stories like the one written by the talented Sarnoski and Block. And it is no coincidence that Cage was chosen for the role of chef Rob: his character partly reflects the soul of the actor, tired of being absorbed by the majors and constantly subservient to compromise. Robin Feld’s Pig does the same: a tragedy leads him to move away from emptiness, repudiates his genius as a chef and makes him return to the essentiality of a life shared with the pig Pig, re-embracing candor, sharing, peace.
Here, Michael Sarnoski’s film (think a bit, at the debut) is the heartbreaking rupture of a precarious and rediscovered harmony, which re-emerges the shadows and torments of a ruthless past ready to bite Rob (among the most beautiful and bitter figures seen at the cinema in recent years), drowning him in a painful and excruciating awareness enclosed in an old dusty audio cassette, put on when there is nothing left to lose. The visual and narrative force that the director stages is crazy, dazzling the intensity with which Cage supports and caresses the character, brutal the turns taken by Pig. Perfect sums in a work that makes cinema that sensorial and enchanting art that moves the stomach, heart and head.
- Do you want to see the movie? From September 15th streaming on CHILI
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Here the trailer for Pig: