This year in film has been punctuated by many stellar performances: Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo’s silent pizzazz worked excellently in The Artist, Elizabeth Olson made a very convincing broken and confused young girl in Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Rooney Mara’s badass rendition of Lisbeth Salander as the industrial take no shit Swede hacker in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was certainly enjoyable. Still, one actor’s performances in particular seemed more standout to me than any other, and believe it or not this was the publicly unfortunately appointed ass-clown Nicolas Cage.
Once upon a time, everything was going well for Nicolas Cage. Cage, born Nicolas Kim Copolla, nephew of revolutionary American director Francis Ford Coppola, cousin of director Sofia Coppola and actor Jason Schwartzman, decided that he wanted to break into the entertainment biz without the aid of nepotism so he lost the Copolla and adopted Cage as his surname. Cage has had a flamboyant career to say the least. Anyone who has seen ANY Cage film knows what to expect of the actor: pulsing neck veins, bouts of unexplainable/ uncalled for screaming, and unintentionally hilarious scenes of him crying his eyes out. Not quite Academy certified (Cage has actually been nominated for two Academy awards for his work in Leaving Las Vegas and Adaptation) Cage’s performances of the last four or five years have been received both positively and negatively amongst critics and audiences alike. There were always those who could see the good in him, even when he played a creepy nipple sucking sadist/ terrorist in Face/Off.
Now, Cages’ performances are met with generally more viscerally hateful and unforgiving criticisms, and even his personal life has become an affair of detritus and debauchery. As far back as 2005, Cage’s love for lavish and fucking expensive estates began to surface as one of the celeb’s vices. Between 2005 and 2009, the year when his financial troubles began, Cage bought Schloss Neidstein, a Bavarian castle, Midford Castle in England, and a muthafuckin dinosaur skull. Yes you heard right, Nicky Cage out bid Leonardo DiCaprio for the skull of a Tarbosaurus which he won for a measly $276,000. In 2009, the IRS reminded Cage of about $6.2 million dollars he forgot to pay in federal taxes (which he blamed on his business manager). So in 2009, the beginning of the end started: Cage started selling properties, collectibles, and even himself…in films that is (although it’s hard to believe his face would be worth more than his ass) to pay off his large debts.
The fact that the guy put out four films in 2011 alone shows that he’s desperate, but his getting bailed out of jail by his buddy Dog the bounty hunter after being arrested for assaulting his wife in New Orlean’s French Quarter is shows that he’s still hitting new lows. I hope for the day when Cage’s debt is finally paid off, and he can return to doing what he does: playing villains who are always somehow made that much more vulgar and somewhat repulsive by his own appearance. Sorry Nicky.