While Nicolas Cage‘s latest output has been scattered and somewhat low profile (you may not have noticed his last movie, the political drama “The Runner,” opened earlier this month), the actor is nothing if not committed to his craft. “They’re all my children. Whether they worked or didn’t work, I grew by taking risks and dealing with critical backlash. I was OK with it because I felt that I was still finding things in my instrument that made me remain fresh or excited,” he recently told Time, reflecting on the roles he’s taken in the past. But what are his favorites? Cage makes some pretty solid choices.
“There’s a few of them, sure. I thought that Werner [Herzog] and I got up to something special in ‘Bad Lieutenant.’ Certainly Mike Figgis and I found something pretty emotionally naked in ‘Leaving Las Vegas.’ I was very happy with ‘Vampire’s Kiss,’ which in my opinion was almost like an independent laboratory to start realizing some of my more expressionistic dreams with film performance,” he said. “Then using what I had learned in ‘Vampire’s Kiss’ and putting it into a very big action movie in the form of ‘Face/Off‘ with John Woo. If you look at those two movies back to back, you can see where I stole from my performance in ‘Vampire’s Kiss.’ ”
A double bill of “Vampire’s Kiss” and “Face/Off”? Attention rep theaters, you just got a great midnight movie lineup.
And while Cage is fine taking the critical knocks that come with his job, he laments about what he sees as a decline in the state of film criticism. “I think that there was a period in film commentary where it was like the gold standard—I would cite someone like Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert or Paul Schrader—where they were really determining based on the work itself, the film itself, the performance itself. And now, with the advent of this kind of TMZ culture, it sadly seems to have infiltrated the vanguard of film commentary,” Cage said. “I see these reviews sometimes where I think, well, you have a right to say whatever you want about my work, and I will listen whether it’s good or bad and see if there’s something that I might work with, but personal issues don’t have a place in film commentary.”
Valid points, certainly. Let us know your favorite Cage performances below.