Nicolas Cage plays a truffle farmer living in the Oregon wilderness. His lone companion is his truffle pig. One night, a pair of assailants break into Cage’s cabin, assault him and steal his pig. The search for said pig leads Cage to Portland, where we discover what led to his life of isolation.
Cage’s immersive performance impresses. Beyond the long hair and scruffy beard, Cage’s every move screams resignation. A man who has rejected the world. The role could have degenerated into grumpy old man caricature, but Cage imbues a resonant pathos.
So why the disappointing grade? The journey through a niche Portland underworld proves unexpected and intriguing. Cage follows the trail to a powerful and vindictive man. I loved Adam Arkin in the role. Where Cage is all resignation, Arkin is all menace. But I couldn’t swallow the resolution. I understand what the film was saying about grief. I could even buy the resolution fitting into the story’s world. But Cage’s pain and Arkin’s rage transcended the subject-matter. The ending? Not so much.
Still, the performances warrant a revisit. Perhaps—knowing the outcome—that future viewing will prove kinder.