Nicolas Cage: A national treasure

By Morning Wood Staff

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The one and only fabulous Nic Cage

The one and only fabulous Nic Cage

By Nico Cage

Once in a lifetime, a star comes along that rises above the rest, reaching god-like levels of prominence. Some people love them, some people hate them, and still others simply don’t understand them. Such a star exists today.

He is a man that shines so bright he nearly transcends the cinematic world that helped introduce him to our previously empty lives so many years ago. He is neither Brad Pitt nor George Clooney. Nor is he a Wahlberg, Mark, Donnie or otherwise. The man I am referring to is of course, Nicolas Cage.

As an actor, Cage has captivated us for over thirty years. Determined to make his own way in Hollywood he dropped his last name of Coppola. Following his starring role in the deeply philosophical “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” (some say Sean Penn starred in this film, but they are wrong: Nic Cage, or The Cage, as he and his friends are contractually obligated to call him, stars in every movie he is in), he decided to change this last name to Cage. As the story goes, he arrived at the name after a three-hour walk through a zoo.

Since his break out role, The Cage has played an incredibly diverse range of characters, showing unrivaled levels of acting prowess. In “Raising Arizona,” he took on the role of an ex-con trying to get back on the straight and narrow by raising a family. In “Con-Air,” he plays an about-to-be-released convict going home on a prison plane, desperate to rejoin his family in Alabama.

“Adaptation.” sees The Cage take on the role of a screenwriter looking for love while trying to adapt a book for the screen. “Leaving Las Vegas” has The Cage in the role of a screenwriter, this time attempting to drink himself to death in Las Vegas. Clearly he is one of the most daring and varied actors in Hollywood history.

The Cage’s greatness has even been recognized by the Academy. He won the Best Actor award for his work in the aforementioned, “Leaving Las Vegas,” and if it weren’t for his refusal to accept another Oscar win due to his crippling fear that the faceless statue has watched him sleep every night since he won, he would have many more to his name.

How else could you explain the lack of an Oscar for his role in 1997’s “Face-Off” in which The Cage masterfully plays not only his own character of Caster Troy, but also the other leading role of Sean Archer, alongside John Travolta. If you think about it, The Cage actually played a man with his body and the face of another man, while simultaneously playing the body of that other man, who in turn had his face. And this wasn’t Oscar worthy? He should at least be awarded a compensatory Oscar for sharing a Hollywood set with John Travolta, a noted sociopath who we now know can’t pronounce names with more than one vowel and lacks a basic understanding of personal space.

Naysayers and non-believers cite many factors for their dislike of man-god Nicolas Cage. His smile is creepy and suggests he has the personality of a rabid coyote, they say, teeming with jealousy, no doubt because they have to look at their own jumbled overbite in their mirror every morning.  They balk at the wispy recession of hair perched atop his head, claiming it is clearly a hairpiece. I met him once and managed to touch his hair, so I can tell you it is not fake. It did not budge an inch. They even have a general distaste for his choice in films and what they perceive as hyperbolic and over-the-top performances in those roles. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was a bad thing for an actor to be utterly consumed by each and every one of his roles.

Greatness always attracts criticism, but to insult Nicolas Cage is to insult the profession of acting itself. No actor has brought more joy, vigor and dedication to cinema. It takes a special kind of person to make all of these films, sometimes good sometimes bad, and manage to be great in their own special way with every appearance. We should enjoy our time in The Age of Cage, before he’s gone and it’s too late.

And seriously, it’s not a hairpiece, please stop saying that.

Nico Cage can be reached exclusively by voicemail, if you can find his name in the 1996 edition of the New York City Yellow Pages.