Nicolas Cage is finding that his dreams are truly stranger than fiction in Kristoffer Borgli’s TIFF breakout film “Dream Scenario.”
Cage stars as hapless family man Paul Matthews whose life is turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. But when his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, Paul is forced to navigate his newfound stardom.
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“Sick of Myself” filmmaker Borgli writes and directs the A24 film, which is produced by Ari Aster, along with lead star Cage, Lars Knudsen, Tyler Campellone, and Jacob Jaffke.
The cast additionally includes Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, Tim Meadows, Dylan Gelula, Dylan Baker, and Kate Berlant.
Cage spoke about the meta quality of “Dream Scenario” across his decades of fame, most recently (and virally) as memes, which the Oscar winner similarly parodied in 2022 film “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”
“What happened to me, I think I might’ve been the first actor who woke up one morning and somebody had put a montage of me, meltdown moments, cherry-picking from different movies, and then put it online,” Cage told Entertainment Weekly at TIFF. “I think it was called ‘Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit’ [in 2011]. It went viral overnight around the world, I kept going, ‘What is happening to me?'”
He added, “It kept exponentially compounding on itself and getting bigger. Nothing I could do could stop it. I couldn’t stop it legally, I couldn’t stop it any way. I sat there and it started going to this meme-ification, with Photoshopping….I said, well, I’ve got to put this somewhere, and then I read ‘Dream Scenario’ and I said, yes, now I can turn this lead into a little bit of gold.”
IndieWire critic David Ehrlich called “Dream Scenario” a “Kaufman-esque” comedy with the “best absurdist” elements onscreen in recent years in the film’s review. “The Kaufman connection is further cemented by a Cage performance that feels like it was born from superimposing both of his ‘Adaptation’ characters on top of each other,” Ehrlich wrote. “‘Dream Scenario’ doesn’t represent a groundbreaking new form of comedy so much as it resolves into an ingeniously modern riff on the most classic of morals.”
“Dream Scenario” premieres November 10 in theaters. Check out the trailer below.
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