A ham-free treat

Fans of Nicolas Cage have been justifiably dismayed at some of the actor’s choices in recent years, considering them a waste of the man’s prodigious talent. So it’s always a great pleasure when a monologue-rich character study like this comes along and reminds us what a unique actor he is. 

When the beloved truffle-foraging pig of a bedraggled, reclusive man in the Oregon wilderness is stolen, he presses into service his yuppie buyer (an excellent Alex Wolff), and returns to Portland to confront his past and find his pig. 

It seems like a simple enough setup, but Michael Sarnoski’s assured, unforced feature debut isn’t content to leave it there, and continually confounds your expectations. I’ll not tell you too much, but it’s mysterious, poetic, emotionally brutal, slightly bonkers, and even funny in spots as it casually skewers trendy foodie eateries. And a wonderfully restrained Cage holds all these strings together. (92 min)