The Nicolas Cage R-Rated Streaming Thriller Delivers His Best Performance Ever

By Robert Scucci | Published

nicolas cage

If you’ve ever had your doubts about Nicolas Cage’s ability to deliver a heartfelt performance without his usual signature bouts of “Cage Rage,” then you absolutely need to stream Pig on Hulu. This drama, which marks Michael Sarnoski’s feature directorial debut, is a perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. While one could reasonably expect this film to be a violent revenge-thriller, Pig boasts more of a subdued and contemplative narrative that Nicolas Cage himself considers to be one of his favorite (and best) performances. 

Nicolas Cage In Pig

nicolas cage

Pig introduces us to Nicolas Cage’s Robin “Rob” Feld, who lives in isolation in the deep and remote Oregon woods outside of Portland. Once a renowned chef, Rob now spends his days hunting for truffles with his beloved pig, simply known as the Pig. Through his partnership with Amir, a young and naive restaurant supplier, Rob makes a living selling the truffles he and his pig dig up in the woods. 

Rob’s Quest

nicolas cage

When the pig gets kidnapped by a pair of drug addicts looking to cash in on its innate truffle foraging abilities, this Nicolas Cage film takes an unexpected turn. Normally we’d expect a character like Rob to head to his personal cache of weapons that he has buried in the woods and arm himself to the teeth before leveling an entire city to locate his prized pig and kill those who stole it. But instead we’re taken on a broken man’s personal odyssey of loss as he looks for his beloved four-legged companion. 

Throughout Rob’s journey, we witness Nicolas Cage willingly get beaten into a bloody pulp in exchange for information about his missing pig. By the end of the story, you’ll feel just as broken as Rob does as you take an emotional journey that you didn’t expect on taking at the film’s outset. 

Pig Helped Bring Cage Back

Though many Nicolas Cage fans point to a number of different films responsible for the Leaving Las Vegas actor’s comeback, Pig is the most notable entry in his recent filmography that drives the point home. It goes without question that Pig was an independent effort, but its widespread adoration among critics and audiences alike proves that sometimes big career moves come from unassuming places. 

The Reception

Pig quickly earned a 97 percent critical score against an audience score of 84 percent, and its reviews unanimously point to Nicolas Cage giving the performance of a lifetime. For his portrayal of Rob, Nicolas Cage won the Austin Film Critics Association award for Best Actor. What’s more, Cage was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award under the Razzie Redeemer category, which highlights an actor’s ability to bounce back from a series of critical or commercial failures. 

Fully Committing

nicolas cage

Nicolas Cage has earned a reputation for always committing to a role, no matter how ridiculous, throughout his career. His performance in Pig is no exception, but in this case he proves his worth as a serious dramatic actor who doesn’t rely on gimmicks or his usual over-the-top tricks. If you want to see Cage at his most introspective, then it comes with strong recommendations that you watch Pig on Hulu as soon as you get the chance.