When Nicolas Cage went cold on playing convicted wildlife park owner Joe Exotic – set to be filmed in Australia – he knew he had another animal story up his sleeve to keep the ball rolling.
In this quirky, “surprisingly fantastic” cinematic treat, Cage plays a hermetic truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness with his beloved truffle pig.
It all goes awry when she is kidnapped, and there’s no better actor than Cage to tell the story.
Heartbroken and angry, Robin “Rob” Feld (Cage) returns to his past gourmet chef life in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig and ends up in some strange whodunnit world.
Variety says “Cage [Con Air, National Treasure] is at his melancholic best in this strange, sad porcine drama”, and says it’s the Oscar winner’s best performance in years.
“Less revenge thriller than intimate character study, Pig is above all else a reminder that Cage is among the most gifted, fearless actors working today.”
Pig is “both out there and grounded, often at the same time”, says Variety, adding that “aside from the obviously far-fetched nature of its premise, it includes everything from an underground fight club for restaurant workers” to three chapter titles at the end of each act: “Rustic Mushroom Tart”, “Mom’s French Toast and Deconstructed Scallops” and “A Bird, a Bottle and a Salted Baguette”.
“But it never slips into absurdity.”
Even if you can’t get to a cinema from September 16, put it on the must-see list post-lockdown.
September movie releases
Cinderella – Amazon Prime Video, September 3
Are you ready for the ball? There have been countless incarnations of this classic fairytale. They land every few years. This modern take is a very ambitious Cinderella (Cuban-born American singer Camila Cabello), who wants her own haute-couture designer gown business and has her work cut out for her.
Does she get the prince, the job, and what about the fairy godmother (Billy Porter)’s attitude towards those uncomfortable glass slippers he whacks on her dainty feet?
“Women’s shoes are as they are,” he says. “Even magic has its limits.”
Ride the Eagle – September 9
It’s been billed as a hilarious and heartfelt comedy, and it may just be that. Starring Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise, Dead Man Walking) as estranged mother Honey, the film tells the story of Honey’s son Leif (Jake Johnson), who can only inherit her picturesque Yosemite cabin in California after she suddenly dies if he completes a whole bunch of weird and wonderful assignments on a to-do list.
Chopper – September 9
Eric Bana’s classic Chopper hit screens 20 years ago, and it still packs a punch. Not available on streaming services, this will be the first time the film has been available to view for many years – at more than 150 cinemas across Australia, digitally remastered.
Chopper tells the story of Mark “Chopper” Read, a legendary Melbourne criminal who scared the pants off the underworld. Well, some say.
Streamline – Stan, September 16
Retired Olympian Ian Thorpe not only has a cameo in this movie, but is the executive producer.
Streamline follows the talented Benjamin (Levi Miller, Pan), a 15-year-old swimming prodigy who suffers from mental health issues after his long-absent father is released from prison.
He relives a lot of buried trauma of domestic violence and then descends into a world of drinking and drugs with his two older, unhinged brothers. His coach and mother are there for the rescue and eventual redemption.
Die In A Gunfight – September 16
For anyone desperate for a big-screen experience, take lots of popcorn and chocolate to this one if it’s your only option. In fact, see it in Gold Class or Lux so you can get a drink, because you may need it.
The New York Times explains: “This hyper-stylised, neon-soaked take on Romeo and Juliet tries hard to be slick; too bad it’s so amateurish.”
That said, some say it borrows from Quentin Tarantino’s playbook of exaggerated action scenes and comic-book style animation sequences, so it could be a bit of fun!
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Amazon Prime Video, September 17
Who doesn’t love a classic biopic? This one is all about a teenager from Sheffield in the UK, Jamie New, who wanted to become a drag queen. It feels like a Kinky Boots sequel, with the classic nay-sayers like his father, his teacher and other school kids, but love and life prevail.
Prey – Netflix, September 10
A wilderness trip turns deadly when five bickering hikers are inexplicably pursued by an unseen – and unrelenting – hunter.
The Stronghold – Netflix, September 17
Tired of the small-time grind, three Marseille cops get a chance to bust a major drug network. But lines blur when a key informant makes a big ask.
No One Gets Out Alive – Netflix, September 29
A haunted house horror story, a sobering account of immigrant life, and a world where ancient folklore can become terrifyingly real.