Without a doubt, one of the most fascinating and iconic film actors of the past 40 years is Nicolas Cage. His “nouveau shamanic” performances can be anywhere between carefully subtle or wildly unhinged, and the movies he appears in can be anywhere between prestigious dramas or gory grindhouse flicks. Even if all his movies aren’t winners, his choices as an actor are always uniquely inspired, and his commitment to each role is undeniable.
Next week on September 20, our Tuesday Night Movie series returns with a screening of the 2022 film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, the Nicolas Cagiest film made to date. Cage stars as “Nick Cage,” a satirical spin on his larger-than-life persona, who forms a relationship with one of his biggest fans, played by Pedro Pascal of The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones, and Wonder Woman 1984— and a huge Nicolas Cage fan himself in real life.
You don’t need to be a huge Nicolas Cage fan yourself to enjoy Massive Talent (though it’s even more enjoyable if you are). It’s a compelling, thrilling, moving, and highly entertaining story about friendship, celebrity, and redemption that manages to capture the spirit of numerous other Cage classics. It’s got the pathos of Leaving Las Vegas, the madcap humor of Raising Arizona, the blockbuster action of Face/Off, and the metafictional hijinks of Adaptation.
In the meantime, if you’d like to catch up on Nicolas Cage’s bewitching body of work, you can check out any of these titles with your Livingston Library card. For example, if you want to witness Cage at the height of his dramatic powers, check out films like Matchstick Men, Pig, Red Rock West, Bringing Out the Dead, or Joe.
If you’d rather marvel as Cage shows off his comedy chops, check out Moonstruck, Valley Girl, Peggy Sue Got Married, or Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
If you’re in the mood to be thrilled by Cage the Post-Modern Action Hero, check out The Rock, Con Air, or National Treasure.
Or if you’re willing to strap yourself in for Full-On Gonzo Cage, check out Mandy, Colour out of Space, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Wild at Heart, or Mom and Dad.
Finally, if it’s not enough to just watch Nicolas Cage films, you can read about the inimitable actor in Keith Phipps’ superb 2022 book Age of Cage: Four Decades of Hollywood Through One Singular Career, available in print or as an audiobook.
– Joe, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian