High-tension CEO Tilda Swinton announces, during the bonkers opening scene set in her dead father’s infamous subterranean factory, the “discovery” of miracle superpigs and a decade-long contest to raise the most super pig of all. (Yes, their faces look more canine than porcine, but who wants to look a gift pig in the mouth when they could be gazing into those soulful little eyes and/or dreaming of dino-sized pork chops?) Cut to ten years later and to an idyllic, forested mountaintop in South Korea, where the titular pig has been living as the beloved pet of a sweet girl named Mija. So begins a wild ride on the tonal roller coaster, which is kept from flying off the tracks by the dual magnets of a powerful sincerity on the part of everyone concerned (good and bad alike) and an equally powerful sense of plausibility under the frequently ridiculous action. Pitch-black satire, heartwarming devotion, over-the-top performance, and subtle drama are engineered into something decidedly (if improbably) delicious. Bong Joon Ho directs a game cast, including Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal, and young Seo-Hyun Ahn as the dogged pig-lover. (2017) — Matthew Lickona
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