It’s not that I’ve discounted Nicolas Cage’s loop-dee-loop jazzman performance in Werner Herzog‘s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. For an actor whose stock in trade is to convey varying degrees of derangement whatever the role, Cage hits a 21st Century high as Lt. Terence McDonagh — a wackazoid refrain of Cage’s legendary Peter Loew in Vampire’s Kiss.

To truly commune with an inspired Cage performance is to drop a tab of mescaline, jump off a 700-foot cliff in Yosemite National Park and howl like a coyote all the way down.

I’ve presumed all along that Academy voters would most likely undervalue (or even dismiss) Cage’s Lieutenant performance because it’s too Miles Davis, too much in the realm of instinct and mad brushstrokes. But maybe I’m wrong. It would be nice — hell, glorious! — if I am.