Directed by the “visionary” Panos Cosmatos**, Mandy (RLJE, 9.14) allegedly contains an epic Nicolas Cage performance. I say “allegedly” because I ducked this film during the recent Sundance and Cannes festivals. It just didn’t seem important enough to see at the expense of stuff I wanted to see more. But I’ll get there. Allegedly essential. Currently brandishing a 97% RT rating.

“As if its sole goal was to take the heavyweight title of Nicolas Cage’s Craziest Movie Ever, Mandy exhibits what Shakespeare called ‘vaulting ambition’ in producing the nuttiest ways for Cage to get into one phantasmagorical showdown after the next. Cosmatos’ full-out stylization complements it all, the director’s interest in scope and detailed production design leading to costumes, weapons and locations that elicit their own sense of wonder. Mandy shows an actor in his element and a director growing into his own, and we merely bask in this union in all of its cuckoo crazy glory.” — from Nick Allen’s Sundance review, filed on 1.20.18.

** 44 year-old son of the late George Cosmatos),

Boilerplate: “Somewhere in the primal wilderness near the Shadow Mountains in the year 1983, Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) has fallen deeply for the deceptively charming Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough). However, the life he has made for himself comes crashing down suddenly and horrifyingly, when a vile band of ravaging cultists and supernatural creatures desecrate his idyllic home with vicious fury. A broken man, Red now lives for one thing only—to hunt down these maniacal villains and exact swift vengeance.”