It’s Time to Appreciate the Age of Cage | Features

“It Could Happen to You”

“Cage and Fonda are, of course, more or less destined to fall in love with one another, but Bergman never goes for heavy-handed schmaltz, and the whole movie has the same lighthearted big city spirit as the New York Post headlines that follow the story. The movie is not so much about romance as about goodheartedness, which is a rarer quality, and not so selfish. And Cage has a certain gentleness that brings out nice soft smiles on Fonda’s face.”

“Leaving Las Vegas”

“Cage’s performance in these early scenes is an acutely observed record of a man coming to pieces. He shows Ben imploding, rigid in his attempt to maintain control, to smile when he does not feel a smile, to make banter when he wants to scream. He needs a drink. During the movie, Cage will take Ben into the regions of hell.”


“This is an actor’s dream, and Travolta and Cage make the most of it. They spend most of the movie acting as if they’re in each other’s bodies – Travolta acting like Cage, and vice versa. Through the plot device of a microchip implanted in his larynx, Travolta is allegedly able to sound more like Cage – enough, maybe, to fool the terrorist’s paranoid brother, who is in prison and knows the secret of the biological weapon.”

“Bringing Out the Dead”

“Nicolas Cage is an actor of great style and heedless emotional availability: He will go anywhere for a role, and this film is his best since “Leaving Las Vegas.” I like the subtle way he and Scorsese embody what Frank has learned on the job, the little verbal formulas and quiet asides that help the bystanders at suffering. He embodies the tragedy of a man who has necessary work and is good at it, but in a job that is never, ever over.”


“And Cage. There are often lists of the great living male movie stars: De Niro, Nicholson and Pacino, usually. How often do you see the name of Nicolas Cage? He should always be up there. He’s daring and fearless in his choice of roles, and unafraid to crawl out on a limb, saw it off and remain suspended in air.”

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