Photo: ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’
‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ is a film with a multitude of layers. In some sense, it is biographical in nature as it relates to the personal experiences of Nicolas Cage. In other parts, it is a fantastical action thriller combined with a comedy. Essentially, it is a film that integrates the star power of Cage with a script that was shaped for him. While ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ revolves around Cage, it is not solely defined by him as a character. It has many other promising qualities that offer immense support to the lead star.
The writing is excellent and well thought out, the twists are unpredictable, and when the viewer finally thinks that they have gotten a grasp on this comedy, the plot transitions into a story that none could predict. It is difficult to define precisely the main category that this film should fit into, and that is exactly why it succeeds. Often in the dialogue, the characters will discuss and joke about a certain context or storyline, and later these thoughts and predictions will come to life onscreen. This level of foreshadowing combined with a level of authentic, elevated humor is one of the primary strengths of the film, and is why a story about the person Nicolas Cage combined with his movie star persona, leads to a film that is intuitive and original.
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What Happened To Nicolas Cage?
‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ is a theatrical film that entrenches itself with realism. One of the fundamental topics that the film deals with in the origin of its plotline pertains to the professional life of famed actor, Nicolas Cage. In recent years much of the public has wondered what ever happened to the legendary actor, Nicolas Cage, star of the beloved series, ‘National Treasure.’ The character in that series was phenomenal. Those movies were lighthearted, and comedic, with Cage displaying an adept ability in playing a role that felt as effortless as it was believable to the audience. Unfortunately in the past decade, Nicolas Cage has not been known or publicly acclaimed for a role or character that he has portrayed. The successful, suave movie star that Cage is, was slowly replaced by a reputation of one who belonged to a lower acting caliber than audiences had previously thought. Cage over the years has portrayed many characters but none of which have received any recognition for his consistent work.
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‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ is a film that points directly to this career tailspin that Cage has been left in, and ultimately questions whether Nicolas Cage has forgotten how to act? The answer is most certainly not as Cage has most certainly proven to the world that he is capable of nuanced portrayals, but the film highlights the declining reception of Cage as the way in which one can be cast aside when people feel as if a person can no longer bring the same amount of talent to the table as they have in the past. The reality of Cage being forced into celebrity “limbo” connects this film to the viewer in a very personal way. It reflects not only the individual characteristics of Cage, but also a natural relatability from the audience to the humanity of an actor who was once a “star,” but has now seemingly “lost” his brilliance.
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‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’: A Multilayered Film That Is Exemplified By Comedy
‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ is a film that is established foremost by its sense of comedy. Although this level of comedy plays a large role in the categorization of the film, this does not define it. ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ contains an entire spectrum of generic aspects, and makes a certain effort in not typifying itself in a singular way. It is a film that could be described by the concept of “meta.” It is a film about an actor, who plays himself, and then much of the plot is about him creating a movie about his own experiences. This creation of a film that the plot revolves around dictates Cage’s success similar to the way ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ does in real life. The film is extremely self-referential and that is what it ties much of its originality and humor to.
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It would be accurate to describe this film closely as that of a puzzle, and while the viewer is led along with small parts of the plot eventually revealed, the film holds much of its innate mystery until the final act. In its third act, the film no longer is based on a sense of reality as portrayed in the first act where the story is based on the general real-life experience of Cage. Rather, the culminating section of the film dives headfirst into theatricality and the fantastical. The strength of this film is that it does limit itself to simply a single genre or function. It aims to encompass all, and surprisingly enough it manages to triumph! It is extremely rare to find a film that attempts to fit every category and still retain its distinction and character, and yet this is exactly what ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ does. ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ is a film that highlights the skill of Nicolas Cage, and brings audiences back to the overwhelming notion that Cage truly is a masterful actor!
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The Dramatic Return of Nicolas Cage
With the staggeringly positive reception of the ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ by the public, the success of the show reflects well on the gifted ability of its lead actor. Nicolas Cage shines in his role throughout the film, and by this story refusing to fit into a single genre or category, audiences are able to see the wide range of the skill that Cage is able to perform. A running joke throughout the film is Cage speaking about how he wants to land a certain movie role of a lifetime. With his career slowing down, he states that after he lands this role, “He’ll be back on top.” Every time he says these words, they are followed by an afterthought of self-reassurance with the line, “Not like I ever left.”
The more Cage verbalizes this manifesting mantra, the more the audience can see the connection of this film to real life. With the redemption of Cage and the enormous success of ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ these words give insight into the personal thoughts of Cage and act as an anchor to reality. Many people believed that Cage had either lost his ability to act, or no longer could make another “good,” movie. ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ has once and for all silenced all of Cage’s naysayers, and has proven that Nicolas Cage is back on top!
Director: Tom Gormican
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Horgan, Paco León, Neil Patrick Harris, Lily Mo Sheen, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Katrin Vankova, Demi Moore, Anna MacDonald, David Gordon Green, Ike Barinholtz, Luke McQueen, Joanna Bobin, Enrique Martínez
Producers: Kristin Burr, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Etten, Harrison Kreiss, Samson Mucke, Michael Nilon, Jason Roberts, Kevin Turen, Bryan Yaconelli
Writers: Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten | Cinematographer: Nigel Bluck | Editor: Melissa Bretherton
By Thomas Jacobs
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Thomas Jacobs is an avid writer, Cinema aficionado, and filmmaker. He graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in Film and Digital Media. His passion is directly tied to the appreciation and creation of film and television, and this fact is reflected in his intent to be a writer for the acclaimed entertainment journal, The Hollywood Insider. His beliefs mirror the core goals and mission statement of The Hollywood Insider by sharing an admiration for quality entertainment as well as bolstering a sense of positivity and equality among all humans. Thomas believes that Cinema is an advantageous promoter of civil and social empowerment, and he shares a mutual societal view with The Hollywood Insider, that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.