For no reason at all, a university professor appears in the dreams of millions of people. His dazzling fame turns to hell when his dreamlike appearances become more and more disturbing and he is suddenly hated by everyone.
Imagine Freddy Krueger haunting the dreams of arbitrary people, but rather than being disfigured and gloved with sharp blades, he’s a bald man almost always wearing a winter coat.
This is a bit of what Dream Scenario becomes halfway through its singular story. Before we get there, we meet Paul Matthews (Nicolas Cage), professor of evolutionary biology, married and father of two daughters. He doesn’t radiate happiness, but he seems satisfied with his position at the university and his family life.
One morning, his youngest daughter tells him that she dreamed about him. She was in danger and he did not intervene. Then, an ex tells him of a similar dream. Later, one of his classes is devoted to reporting on his students’ nights of sleep in which he appears. Each of the short dream scenes is delicious and brightens the pace. Soon the whole world sees him when he closes his eyes.
The incomprehensible phenomenon makes it extremely popular and Paul is very happy about it. Those around him are not entirely at ease and we realize the extent of the void in the teacher’s life. Through his particular premise, Norwegian director and screenwriter Kristoffer Borgli tackles with finesse, humor and originality instant fame, the vacuity of marketing viral phenomena, the mid-life crisis and the value of everyday happiness.
The prolific and inconsistent Nicolas Cage plays one of the best roles of his career here. At each stage of the curious roller coaster into which Paul is involuntarily drawn, the actor conveys the sadness and bitterness of his character. Although he is not responsible for his appearances in strangers’ dreams and even less responsible for giving them horrible nightmares, the way he handles fame and how he then portrays himself as a victim is pitiful and completely realistic. .
Julianne Nicholson (Blonde, I, Tonya), who plays his wife Janet, is also brilliant. Tested by the situation, she naturally demonstrates the sincere love that generally binds old couples together. Michael Cera and Tim Meadows are also very good in small roles. Let’s highlight the performance of Dylan Gelula (the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt series) who, even in a disturbing scene, remains convincing.