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The One Nicolas Cage Movie You Have To Watch, According To Nicolas Cage

When it comes to output, there are few actors as consistent as Nicolas Cage. Starring in well over 100 productions, the actor's career is filled with incredible highs and embarrassing lows. While many have mocked his string of low-budget efforts, Cage continues to take on intriguing, diverse roles in projects spearheaded by some of the most interesting filmmakers working today. But where should one start with his ever-expansive body of work? In a conversation with The New Yorker, the actor said that "Pig" is the project he believes people should watch first if they're unfamiliar with his filmography.

Directed by Michael Sarnoski, "Pig" debuted in 2021 to rapturous critical acclaim. Not only does it stand out as one of Cage's best action movies, but it's one of his best films, period. The "National Treasure" star is enamored with the late-career film because of how meditative it is, describing it as a quiet and gentle experience. "It's also a movie that to me is like a folk song," he added.

When folks think of Cage, they typically think of his maniacal, over-the-top performances. In "Pig," the Oscar winner delivers a relatively nuanced and quiet performance filled with silent rage. And he's aware of this; in his chat, he acknowledged that most people wouldn't expect such a resolute performance from him. While "Pig" didn't exactly change Cage's reputation amongst the general public, it has emerged as a cult favorite. "I'd never done anything like that before," Cage said, "where I felt like I got close to putting a meditation on camera, or a haiku."

Pig is about a truffle hunter whose prized pig is kidnapped

On paper, "Pig" appears to be a quirky rip-off of "John Wick." The story follows Rob (Cage), a truffle hunter who lives a peaceful but secluded lifestyle. His only companion is his foraging pig, with whom he shares a close bond. Together, they search for expensive truffles and sell them to restaurants. Rob's life is turned upside down when his pig is kidnapped, forcing him to leave the comforts of the woods to find his animal in the big city.

While the film could have easily gone the route of "John Wick" and featured mind-blowing, highly choreographed action sequences, the project stands out because of how ruminative it is. In a conversation with Looper, Cage's "Pig" co-star, Alex Wolff, revealed that his most uncomfortable scene involved a high amount of silence — something Cage isn't exactly known for. But that silence led to something truly special.

In his chat with The New Yorker, Cage expressed his belief that the film has a certain universal quality to it. "[I]t's something that I think people can get something out of," the actor said, "because tragedy is going to hit all of us at some point. It's just a matter of when." Though "Pig" was barely a box office hit, it has since gone on to become a masterpiece in the actor's filmography. In fact, it may serve as a highlight as the actor enters the twilight of his career, as, last year, Cage said that he wanted to quit movies and move onto different formats.

"Pig" is currently streaming on Hulu.