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We serve up a modern masterpiece, unpacking the unexpected beauty and humanity of indie darling “Pig” — a film that defies all expectations.

Welcome to NO NOTES, the show where three cerebral cinephiles take a break from chatting about guilty pleasures to discuss cinematic treasures. Each month, we’ll take turns selecting a film we believe to be virtually flawless, one that had a significant impact on our lives and/or helped shape the film lovers we became.

Join us for Steph’s pick as she introduces Kelly and Jack to one of her favorite films in recent years, starring the cinematic love of her life, Nicolas Cage, who must venture out from his life as a reclusive truffle hunter to recover his stolen beloved truffle pig — forcing him to confront a life he left behind and grapple with the nature of art, passion, grief, and life after loss.

As Stephanie argues for PIG’s place in the hallowed halls of cinematic perfection, she says:

“At times gut-wrenching and at other times soul-stirring, PIG touched my heart in a truly profound way.”

This is a true love letter to the beauty and power of independent film, and it’s an episode you won’t want to miss. You can watch Pig on Hulu or Kanopy, or rent it inexpensively on demand.

If you’d like to delve deeper into why our co-host, Stephanie, recommends this film so highly, keep reading for her summation of why she chose it for No Notes status. Or, just push play now and hear what she and her co-hosts, Jack and Kelly, have to say.

WHAT PIG MEANS TO ME

Pig

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A quietly poignant and unexpectedly beautiful film about love and loss and the beautiful bond between a man and his animal companion, Pig is a moving portrayal of the immense bond between man and animal.

Nic Cage is an actor who is infinitely watchable in everything he’s in, whether he’s delivering an Oscar-caliber dramatic performance, showing off his significant comedic chops, kicking ass in an action spectacle, or serving up unhinged, over-the-top madness in some campy classic. I’ve loved him forever, even when it wasn’t cool to be nutty about Nic. I loved him long after everyone forgot he was actually an exceedingly brilliant actor and long before a new generation discovered how cool it was to be Nic FUCKING Cage.

Picking my favorite Nic Cage role is almost impossible; he’s so good in so many films and has the power to make even mediocre or downright dumpster films a billion times better – I’m looking at you Wicker Man. But I’d comfortably argue that Pig is undoubtedly one of his career highs. It’s a subtle but stellar performance from Cage, and he sells every second of the heartfelt narrative.

Cage’s Rob is a scruffy recluse living alone deep in the picturesque woods of Oregon. He spends his days foraging for truffles with his beloved pig. His peaceful world is shattered one night when his treasured pig is kidnapped in a heartbreaking scene, and he must enlist the help of truffle buyer Amir to help him get his pig back.

Amir is played by Alex Wolf, who many of you will know from his chilling role in another genre masterpiece, Hereditary.

As the two journey together into the seedy underbelly of Portland’s fine-dining world, they begin to form an unexpected connection that will fundamentally alter each of their lives.

Pig

While the vengeance thriller about a man hunting down those responsible for harming his animal companion was mistakenly touted as Cage’s version of John Wick, it’s actually a quiet character study about pain, grief, and finding your purpose.

Technically, the film is exquisite, from its sweeping cinematography to its sorrowful score.

Cage exquisitely channels a broken man haunted by a painful past, and it was such a thrill to watch this master thespian remind audiences why he’s one of the best in the business, even if his film choices haven’t always allowed him to flex his considerable acting muscles.

It’s a film steeped in humanity that is uncompromisingly original. If it doesn’t take your breath away, I urge you to check your pulse.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 5

ABOUT THE HOSTS:

ABOUT THE SHOW:

NO NOTES is a monthly spin-off of the Guilty Pleasures podcast. Twice a month, the Guilty Pleasures crew will alternate between dissecting a “so bad it’s good” guilty pleasure voted on by our listeners and an example of cinematic excellence and near-flawless execution, as selected by one of our hosts.

Our Instagram handles are:

Morbidly Beautiful @morbidlybeautifulhorror | Stephanie @srgreenhaw | Jack @jack_wells_author | Kelly @kellyemintzer

Follow Morbidly Beautiful on Twitter @xmorbidbeautyx or on Facebook.

CREDITS
Special thanks to the wildly talented Morgan Quaid for our theme show music. Morgan is a multi-talented author of books and graphic novels, a popular podcaster, and a badass musician. Please support this lovely human by subscribing to his channel on YouTube at youtube.com/@MorgantheQuaid.

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