3. The Weather Man (2005) – Directed by Gore Verbinski
“Normal” is not easy to define when dealing with Nicolas Cage. However, his role in Gore Verbinski’s “The Weather Man” is as normal as it gets—well, as normal as Cage can get. In the film, Cage plays a Chicago weatherman, David Spritz, firmly in the depths of a chaotic mid-life crisis. He is successful in his career, but garners almost no respect from anyone, especially his immediate family. It’s very darkly comedic and Cage deftly maneuvers through what could have been a very dreary film under a different director and lead actor. Cage is able to subvert his persona as a habitual over-actor and plays Spritz with a subtle quietness and affability that then still allows him to break out the character-appropriate eccentricities—of which there many, though never in a jarring way. The entire role is a testament to Cage’s ability as an actor; the character of David Spritzer could very well be played by any capable actor, but Cage may be the only one who could make him more than just slightly pathetic, hard-to-respect, absentminded middle-aged man. With his distinct mannerisms and nuances, Cage owns his most “normal” role while also embracing it as an unique character bit. He’s not just any weatherman; he’s David Spritzer and Cage will make sure you understand that.