Pig ★★★★

This probably isn't the first time I've seen the meals characters eat and their chefs credited alongside the songs and the noteworthy artwork in a movie, but it doesn't happen often, although one of the interesting threads in the movie suggests it should, because food is every bit the direct line to memory and emotion the way those media are.

If that sounds more somber and artsy than "Nicolas Cage ventures through a weird, violent underground empire looking for his truffle pig", well, it is, but this movie is also that, and it's a clever way to maneuver the audience to where it winds up. It's not so much that the audience needs a hook for what's a somewhat familiar story, but a way to hint that there's a strange world with different rules alongside our own, and you get there through tragedy.

That's written all over Cage's face, and not just because his character doesn't clean the beating he takes early on away. It's not the crazy performance one associates with Nic Cage, but it's still the sort of thing he does so well. He knows you're here to watch him work, and he makes every small movement count. There's a great scene where he completely dismantles another character, and it's funny, earnest, and despairing all at once.