Pig ★★★★

“Pig” arrives to the hyperactive wildfire of summer cinema season like the wafting smoke from buttery mushrooms roasting on the low embers of a camp stove. 

Director Michael Sarnoski’s film sounds at first sniff like it will be “Mandy,” but with the abduction of a truffle hunting sow, instead of a woman, inciting the search for justice. 

Sarnoski, too, seems to realize the very unique set of cinematic baggage that comes with making a Nicholas Cage movie in the year 2021. The actor’s rancid costuming, and the first act of the piece, nearly trick the audience into thinking this will be a foodie vengeance buddy road trip flick (although I’d also very much pay to watch this take). 

But then - the bloodlust never arrives. Sarnoski instead simmers his way through “Pig” on a low heat. 

It’s almost as if the viewer can visualize the director standing by the knob of the stove; humming to himself while he caramelizes onions - the long way - despite a dining room of ravenous customers waiting for their main course. 

And while Sarnoski is a cinematic newcomer, he already earns the trust needed to let him take his time. 

“Pig’s” warm tones and buttery coloration are a haven from the neon and/or high contrast grey that over or  desaturates most films these days. It’s past being just an aesthetic choice here, though. The imagery makes the dining rooms and kitchens of “Pig” feel tangible, and lived-in.

It fills the empty spaces with light… and with love.

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