Nicolas Cage Becomes the Stuff of Nightmares in Dream Scenario

Nicolas Cage of the 2020s (Superman, Dracula, himself) is not the Nicolas Cage of the 1990s (Face/Off, Snake Eyes, Con Air). His reinvention continues with Dream Scenario, the first English-language feature film from Norwegian writer-director Kristoffer Borgli. Cage plays Paul, an unremarkable professor who suddenly begins appearing in the dreams of people all over the world.

Then it gets weirder.

This trailer has a strange, flat vibe that is probably meant to punch up the surreal qualities of the film, but can make it feel a little too distant (and using The Cranberries’ “Dreams” is almost painfully on the nose). But Cage in normal-guy mode has an uneasy charm; you can never stop knowing that it’s Nicolas Cage, who plays a lot of weird, big characters, so it feels like everything could go sideways at any moment. The rest of the cast is excellent, and includes Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, Tim Meadows, Dylan Gelula, Dylan Baker, and Kate Berlant.

Critics who saw Dream Scenario earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival were charmed; Toronto Star critic Peter Howell wrote, “Kristoffer Borgli’s dark social satire goes all in on its Twilight Zone premise, giving Cage one of the best roles of his career as he rages from comic to horrific, sometimes in the same moment.”

Dream Scenario is in theaters November 10th.

This post was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the film being covered here wouldn’t exist.

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