For our 2nd issue of ‘The Best Acting I’ve Ever Seen‘ – let’s revisit Nicolas Cage’s legit insane leading performance from 2018’s MANDY.
The Actor: Nicolas Cage
The Film: Mandy (2018)
Director: Panos Cosmatos
The Scene: Nicolas Cage’s Red has just been bound, gagged, stabbed and forced to watch the love of his life get burned to death in front of him. Hours pass and after freeing himself, he clutches the ashes of Mandy in his hands, cries some more, then proceeds to go back inside his house and try to collect himself. This is when he sees the infamous Cheddar Goblin commercial on his TV by the way (but that’s a whole other brilliant sequence). Cage plays Red in these moments as a man who has been absolutely destroyed emotionally. Red then proceeds to hit the bathroom (in his underwear for bonus points), frantically searches for a bottle of vodka and then chugs the entire damn thing while cry-screaming as he begins to process what actually just happened.
My thoughts: We rarely see these kinds of moments in film where the protagonist is so utterly defeated that they ugly cry themselves into oblivion. But under Panos Cosmatos insane direction (inspired by his own dark past involving black-out drinking) and Cage’s even MORE insane performance, we are witness to what I feel is the best work of the iconic actor’s entire career. The shouting, the crying, the ability to just let an actor unleash everything they have in this raw, unbridled and totally uncomfortable way is what I live for. Cage has had a legendary career and I know he takes a lot of shit for some of his movies, but he’s one of the best performers OF ALL TIME. This is his magnum opus – a revenge horror thriller arthouse fantasy film. Mandy was my favorite movie of 2018 and I declare this scene, in that weird ass wallpapered bathroom – to be the best Nicolas Cage acting that I’ve ever seen in my whole life.