the fresh films reviews

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Dream Scenario (2023)

Directed by:
Kristoffer Borgli

Black comedy/Fantasy

Dream Scenario

100 minutes

Produced by:
Lars Knudsen
Ari Aster
Tyelr Campellone
Jacob Jaffke
Nicolas Cage

Written by:
Kristoffer Borgli

Cast includes:


Paul Matthews

Nicolas Cage

Janet Matthews

Julianne Nicholson


Michael Cera


Tim Meadows -


Dylan Gelula
Richard Dylan Baker
Mary Kate Berlant -
Sophie Matthews Lily Bird
Hannah Matthews Jessica Clement



Kristoffer Borgli's follow up to his delightfully absurd Sick of Myself sees him moving his craft across the Atlantic and teaming up with Nicolas Cage, who plays a bald, socially awkward biology professor somewhere on the East Coast of America. He leads a perfectly dull family life with wife and two daughters when his otherwise unremarkable presence starts popping up in various people's dreams, which soon turns his life upside down. Fans of Sick of Myself will recognize Borgli's peculiarly askew look at modern society, but Dream Scenario is in many ways richer and more wide-ranging than its predecessor. In the early parts of the film, Borgli approximates Woody Allen in both his characterizations and his observations of mundane aspects of life. Cage and his wife (played by Julianne Nicholson) are made to look as unflattering and unglamorous as you've ever seen Hollywood actors, arguably because Borgli wants to accentuate their averageness and lay the basis for the absurdities that soon will follow. Because when Dream Scenario starts dabbling with dreams and their possible consequences, the film becomes simultaneously funnier and probably more divisive. Cage's character becomes embarrassingly beguiled by his sudden fame, leading to a number of situations ranging from hilarious to creepy and ultimately chilling, and Borgli demonstrates his skill as a filmmaker by guiding his picture from one mood to another with impressive fluidity. If you by the end feel somewhat exhausted and that you're left with no redemption, it's because Dream Scenario is a rather savvy allegory for cancel culture at its most devastating. And thanks to Cage's wonderfully unpretentious performance, there is some sentiment to the whole spectacle as well. Also with Michael Cera as a zealous PR executive, and Dylan Gelula in a brilliant turn as a young woman turned on by the dream version of Cage.

Copyright 09.02.2024 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang