Entertainment"Dream Scenario": Another successful film from Nicolas Cage?

"Dream Scenario": Another successful film from Nicolas Cage?

Nicolas Cage in the movie "Dream Scenario"
Nicolas Cage in the movie "Dream Scenario"
Images source: © Press materials
2:28 PM EST, November 11, 2023

Nicolas Cage consistently expands his portfolio with increasingly offbeat characters. This time around, he distinguishes himself in the role of a man who inexplicably gains control over human dreams.

The film dives into the theory that dreams reflect our subconscious needs, desires, or fears. If that's the case, how do we make sense of a nondescript man featuring in numerous people's dreams? This recurring dream character isn't a celebrity figure, but an ordinary biology teacher named Paul Matthews, played brilliantly by Nicolas Cage. However, "Dream Scenario" is not a science fiction film, but a satire on media fame and the irrationality of cancel culture.

The hitherto overlooked, average middle-aged man rapidly becomes an object of curiosity to a wide audience. At first, he questions his students eagerly about the dreams in which he figures, and later craves the attention of strangers worldwide. His fame never appears to alter his character.

Despite the sudden media popularity, Paul aspires solely to publish a scientific book rather than cashing in on his fame. This unwritten magnum opus is not viewed as a career peak but as an expression of years of suppressed frustration. He believes an academic publication will increase his standing in society and validate his existence.

In his previous film "Sick of Herself," Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli delves into a young couple's willingness to resort to self-mutilation to gain fame and acceptance. Similarly, in "Dream Scenario," the swollen ego is found at the core, although the script offers a broader space for acting - covering dreamworlds, dream analysis' impacts on daily life, and cancel culture.

There's a crucial twist when the perception of Paul in most people's dreams dramatically changes. The consequences affect the real man rather than his dream apparition. It engenders deep conflict, even as he fruitlessly resists the backlash.

No one could portray Paul Matthews better than Nicolas Cage. He's had a fair share of viral memes and online mockery for his unique roles - with the YouTube video, "Nicolas Cage losing his shit," being particularly noteworthy. Add to this the intriguing tales of the actor's peculiar lifestyle, including his financial ruin after purchases of haunted castles, tombs, and dinosaur and Pygmy skulls, and you've got the perfect hero for the film.

"Dream Scenario" with Nicolas Cage at the 14th American Film Festival
"Dream Scenario" with Nicolas Cage at the 14th American Film Festival© Press materials

Fascinatingly, the director of "Dream Scenario" disclosed in a conversation with Variety that Cage once had a real-life incident similar to a scene featuring a deranged fan invading the protagonist's bedroom. Cage himself designed his character's appearance, complete with a thinning hairstyle and a distinctive bulky jacket with a furry hood - a far cry from the snakeskin jacket from "Wild at Heart," symbolic of his character's individuality.

"Dream Scenario" plays with the absurdity of the entire situation, adding surrealistic elements while not sparing its protagonist. It doesn't offer an explicit moral or punchline, so it may not appeal to all viewers. But if you're in the mood to watch something eccentric, it's worth plunging into madness with Nicolas Cage.

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