Once an undisputed star of Hollywood, Nicolas Cage has turned into a second-class actor accustomed to Direct-to-Video. However, the actor still has a lot to offer us, he who has a Talent in solid gold in dark rooms.
As a friend summed it up so well, Nicolas Cage always plays his films as if he was aiming for the Oscar. We hope he won’t blame us for stealing his formula as it perfectly defines an iconoclastic actor who, despite many projects feeling the need to pay off debts (he assumes it), is always involved 200% in his roles. Whether he won the famous golden statuette in 1996 for Leaving Las Vegas or played an old martial arts expert wielding a katana against aliens (in Jiu Jitsu in 2020, truthfully), Nick Cage remains Nick Cage with all madness and professionalism that characterizes him. That’s why here, we don’t hide our particular affection for the guy, the traveling internet meme factory.
Therefore, when the actor finally returns to our dark rooms, we can only be enthusiastic. When, in addition, he interprets his own role (semi-fictional), we sign the blank check. Quite simply because this man has A talent in solid gold.
In the film, Nicolas Cage is an actor in the doldrums, constantly seeking a role to boost his career as debts pile up and his family life takes a hit. In an attempt to give himself a boost (especially to his bank account), he accepts an invitation from a billionaire to appear at his birthday party. Except that once there, the CIA contacts him so that he plays spies against his host, in reality a dangerous mafioso. Will Nicolas Cage live up to his reputation?
Nicolas Cage vs Nicolas Cage
As you will have understood, the Gormican film (co-scripted with Kevin Etten) will play the meta card to the fullest by featuring a Nick Cage not so far from reality. The opportunity for the actor for a little introspective trip where, with the help of his absolute fan friend of the actor, he will have fun with the star system and his career.
Rock, The Wings of Hell, Volte/Face, A Guardian Angel for Tess, 60 seconds flat… The references multiply with jubilation in the face of a melancholy Cage ready to put an end to his career. A trip to the past as much as a trip to what made the legend of the actor. The scriptwriters then take malicious pleasure in playing with this image by confronting him with his double from his young years, clinging to the idea that he deserves better because he is Nicolas Cage. And so that the “madness” of the man can be expressed, the story never hesitates to make him consume various substances, just to make it a real Nicolas Cage’s Show. A solid gold Talent plays the card of both homage and gentle mockery during a tasty first hour for anyone who is not allergic to humans.
But the feature film is also a nice old-fashioned buddy movie thanks to the duo formed with an extremely comfortable Pedro Pascal in the role of the naive fan fully enjoying a childhood dream. The two actors give us a touching bromance in which each sequence, even the most stretched, demonstrates a real complicity. At a time when Hollywood likes to play the card of meta and fan-service with all the sauces with the greatest cynicism, A Talent in solid gold has for him to breathe sincerity.
Nicolas Cage vs. Hollywood
Touching on one of its greatest figures, A Solid Gold Talent takes the opportunity to deliver its own reflection on the Hollywood industry. Breaking the fourth wall more than once, the feature film plays with double levels of reading by constantly announcing the events that will follow through its dialogues around cinematographic creation.
When our characters denounce the need to bring twists to maintain the attention of the spectator, it is to undergo these same twists a few minutes later. Criticizing the now marketing stakes around the lesser production, the film falls completely into its second half, as if it were inevitable. The introspective buddy movie is therefore transformed into a marked and lengthy action comedy. The film’s interest then begins to crumble, as if it was deliberately scuttling itself to support its statements by example. An interesting process, but far too risky, especially since we end up wondering if this strategy would not hide the reality of a lack of content, once the initial idea is well underway. The truth surely lies between the two.
Imperfect, but generous. Crazy, but codified. A Talent in Solid Gold is a film with two faces that look at each other. Fortunately, these faces are that of “Nick fu**iiiiiiiiiiing Cage”, as he puts it so well himself. And he’s right.