Pig stars Nicolas Cage as Robin Feld, a reclusive and quiet ex-chef who lives off grid in the remote backwoods of Portland, Oregon. Rob’s companion is his Pig who helps him forage for truffles out in the woods. These elite truffles are seemingly the best, and picked up each Thursday by a young and cheesy restaurant supplier, Amir (Alex Wolff), with his own rooted connections.
The story begins when Pig is stolen in the middle of the night by a couple of apparent meth heads in an excruciatingly loud and horrific scene. Rob awakens bloodied and bruised, and determined to find his Pig. He has a pretty good idea of where to start and recruits Amir to collaborate on his search. In other words, Amir is the driver.
The journey takes Rob back into the underbelly of the exclusive sub culture of Portland’s restaurant employees. Within this crew surfaces a network of old loyalties and betrayals that have fired up tales throughout the back of the house. In this circle, restaurants are known for the Chef’s names, not the brand name on the door. Along the way, we discover the weight of Robin Feld, and begin to empathize with his isolation in the woods.
However, Rob does not look for a shower along the way. It’s surprising, frankly. You can almost smell the grit emanating from him. His clothes stick to his skin, marinated in sweat and soil from previous forages. Crusted blood on his face and beard like scrapings from seared meat tossed in thyme and melted butter. His presence is powerful and unnerving, commanding every scene.
Visually dark, often hand held (shaky), and rugged terrain lend to the themes of nostalgia and separation. Nic Cage’s performance is moving, and apart from a few blatant continuity errors, the sentimentality was as gut wrenching as his appearance. At one point he reminds us, “We don’t get a lot of things to really care about.”
On a side note, after the pig goes missing, there is a brief scene of a pig jaunting out in the woods. Is it his pig? Is it another pig? Did I imagine it and just want to see it? If you take note of this, please send me a message! I need more explanation.