There doesn’t seem to be another actor who can do the things Nicolas Cage can do. Maybe it’s better said that there isn’t another actor who is crazy enough to, first of all, come up with the ideas Nic Cage employs on a regular basis, and second of all, think of them and say “yeah, that’s something I should probably try.” His choices are uniquely his own, for better or for worse.
One thing you can’t say about Mr. Cage is that he gives anything less than 100% in any given role. On one hand, there’s something admirable about this. His level of commitment to a part is, dare I say, quite possibly on par with someone like Daniel Day-Lewis; it’s just that his taste in roles is slightly less, shall we say, discerning. It seems like he’ll do anything. And he’ll do it as if it’s the role he’s wanted to play all his life. Then again, when someone is performing in a bad movie, part of us wants some indication that they know what they’re doing is completely stupid, some sign that they’re laughing along with us at the pitiful quality of the film before us. Nicolas Cage does not do this. I wonder if he believes there is such a thing as a bad movie. Or a bad performance. He’s like a gambler who goes all in on every bet, and every now and then it’ll pay off in a big way for him, but most of the time, especially recently, he loses his shirt, his shoes, his dignity, all of it.
I don’t think it matters at this point whether he’s pulling a fast one on all of us and the latter half of his career has been a big, weird performance art piece, or whether he’s just crazy enough to be in a movie like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and play it as straight as an arrow. All that matters, to me and other Cage-obsessed weirdos, is that he is consistently incredible to watch. Here are 10 performances in particular that show he is someone with a set of skills that no one else can, nor wants to touch, making him perhaps the best actor of all time, or the worst, or the most bizarre combination of both.
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