Nic Cage Appreciation Month: Matchstick Men (2003)

mMatchstick Men lets Nic Cage be a complete and utter bastard whilst remaining a sympathetic character and being more than slightly crazy - Roy Waller is a con man with a catalogue of phobias and obsessions (including some OCD tendencies) who's forced to re-evaluate his life when he discovers he has a teenage daughter.

Or something like that. I don't want to give too much away about the plot, since it's actually one of Cage's genuinely good movies, but suffice it to say that since it's a movie about con men, nothing is ever going to be quite as straightforward as it seems.

Cage is on brilliant form here - twitchy and nervous with several spectacular blowups (the best of all, without question, being the part where he shouts at a guy who tells him off for cutting a queue: "Have you ever been dragged to a sidewalk and beaten till you PISSED BLOOD?") yet somehow still rather endearing. It's Cage under control, too; very few overtly quirky Cageisms creep in, though there are martinis involved, and the shouting all seems to be scripted rather than improvised, though I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are alternate versions of the "...pissed blood" line floating around out there. So, hats off to Ridley Scott for channelling Cage accurately and effectively; this isn't a movie that's good in spite of Cage, or a bad movie that's improved because of Cage; it's actually really quite good, and Cage is great in it. Hurrah!

IMDB link

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