Dream Scenario is one of those films that has the most bizarre of premises, and it’s either going to work in a triumph, or fall apart instantly. Thankfully, it does the former.
The opening scene shows balding college lecturer Paul Matthews (Nicolas Cage – Renfield, The Flash) quietly sweeping leaves by the side of his swimming pool, while daughter Sophie (Lily Bird) sits close by. Out of the blue, something suddenly hits the water, before it’s followed by other detritus, making me think this was debris falling from a plane in the sky, although it’s not quite clear. Before long, some other weird things are happening which affect Sophie, before she calls out to Dad for help, his reaction being to tell her not to worry, and he carries on sweeping the leaves while she’s still in peril…
At that point, Sophie wakes up and realises it was all a weird dream. Okay, fair enough, but before long as he goes about his daily business, everyone starts looking funny at him, since it transpires that they’re ALL dreaming about him, seemingly just passively appearing in their slumber, including ex-girlfriends Claire (Marnie McPhail Diamond), and Sheila (Paula Boudreau), the latter of whom is intending to rip him off by solely publish a project on which they were collaborating, spurring Paul on to publish his own book.
Then again, not QUITE everyone sees him in their sleep, as you’ll discover. Why? No-one seems to know.
Since he’s gone viral, this leads to the expected TV interviews etc, but accidental fame can pay a price, the facts of which he won’t know until they happen – especially to some who don’t see him in any way passive, and for those, he causes consternation wherever he goes as he gets the blame for the dream contents, yet it’s not his fault!
Overall, Dream Scenario is completely bat-shit mental in the path that it takes, and proves that Nicolas Cage is absolutely perfect for this role. It’s like the role he was born to play, but then that works for so many of them in which he’s appeared.
If there’s any downsides, the film goes a little off the rails in the third act, and when you see it, you’ll realise why. It’s as if the film was due to end, but they tried to add some extra stuff in which didn’t quite gel properly, making me wonder if I was dreaming about the whole experience, myself… unless that was the point to it?
Dream Scenario is in cinemas now, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 102 minutes
Release date: November 10th 2023
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (Super 16)
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Director: Kristoffer Borgli
Producers: Ari Aster, Tyler Campellone, Jacob Jaffke, Lars Knudsen
Screenplay: Kristoffer Borgli
Music: Owen Pallett
Paul Matthews: Nicolas Cage
Janet Matthews: Julianne Nicholson
Sophie Matthews: Lily Bird
Hannah Matthews: Jessica Clement
Greta: Star Slade
Andy: David Klein
Miles: Kaleb Horn
Avery: Liz Adjei
Sheila: Paula Boudreau
Claire: Marnie McPhail Diamond
Jessie: Noah Lamanna
Brett: Tim Meadows
Richard: Dylan Baker
Naomi: Maev Beaty
Sidney: Marc Coppola
Carlota: Krista Bridges
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.