Now it is more accepted at the level of public perception -or the Internet-, but it was not so long ago that the enormous talent of Nicolas Cage. Their intense and extreme interpretations, later meme meat, have been highly commentedbut his career should be beyond doubt, at least in that golden period of the nineties and early two thousand.
He should only be validated by the incredible number of famous directors he has worked with. Without throwing out far-fetched names, here we have his collaboration with Martin Scorsese, which he has given to one of the best italian-american films. Or, at least, one of the most notable that has gone under the radar the most. That is ‘To the limit’, a portentous movie that we can see on Disney +.
Any night can be the last
Cage plays Frank Pierce, an ambulance service paramedic who moves through the roughest parts of New York. Their work nights are a real emotional exhaustion, full of stress, difficulty and even loneliness even having a driver next to you. Sometimes, he suffers from hallucinations of those lives that he could not save, so each workday is a new obsession to save the next.
It is difficult to detail more the film outside of those few lines. ‘To the limit’ does not necessarily follow a plot, or a master line that can be spoiled, but rather goes from one place to another trying to pursue a sensation, a complex but remarkable and intense emotional state when it captures it. The different stops that Cage’s character follows are opportunities to do a fascinating exercise that also serves as a psychological exploration.
Despite the honorable job of saving lives from an ambulance, Cage’s character is another example of those interesting antiheroes that Scorsese loves to explore.
The director was very interested in the homonymous novel by joe connellywhich served as an excuse to return to work with one of his best screenwriters, such as paul schrader. Together they made huge films like ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Raging Bull’ or ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’, and this one is added to that list without pale in comparison.
‘To the limit’: study of character of enormous level
It is especially pertinent to mention ‘Taxi Driver’, perhaps the film with which he shares the most due to the way he studies the character and the vitiated atmosphere in which he decides to navigate.
The difference here is that Scorsese seems to exchange youthful hunger for an experimental curiosity that defies any commercial ambition this film might have. She seems to be swimming in a sea of smoke, hoping to find a shore of peace that she may not reach.
This unique exercise achieves more than meets the eye in its unconcrete appearance. Beneath the surface, we see Scorsese capturing complex, difficult, yet powerful moments of humanity, with Cage giving one of his trademark performances that sits beautifully with the tone of the film.
It is worth rescuing, because it is one of the most underrated films of both careers, both director and actor.