Over the course of a career that spans four decades, actor Nicolas Cage has embraced everything from vampire camp, to action and suspense thrillers, to period pieces, horror, voice work, Disney franchises, and dramatic roles both “melo” and understated. In some ways, it’s that very range that’s frequently led critics (and even a certain subset of fans, via The Week) to see Cage as a sort of caricature of himself: an actor whose success is based, partially, on the ubiquity of some of his more absurd failures.
And yet — oddly enough — the mythology of the “The Nic Cage Brand” isn’t necessarily supported by the numbers. While Cage has certainly seen his share of ironically adored flops-turned-meme-material (e.g. 2006’s “The Wicker Man”), he’s also proven himself capable of tackling complex characters and delivering nuanced and emotionally gripping performances — both in the past and more recently. As the actor explained to The Guardian‘s Emma Brockes in a 2013 interview, “There is a misperception…in critical response or even in Hollywood, that I can only do exaggerated characters. Or what they would call over-the-top performances.” In his most recent critically-acclaimed performance, Cage seems to have once again proven the veracity of his statement.