Norwegian writer-director Kristoffer Borgli's DREAM SCENARIO is a film that feels as though it could have been made by a collective of Spike Jonze, Charlie Kauffman and Michel Gondry. This is a good thing.
Nic Cage stars as a schlubby university professor who starts showing up in everyone's dreams. At first this leads to a wonderful surge in popularity - students actually turn up to his lectures and he gets a book deal. But when his dream avatar turns into a nightmare, the world turns on the real life professor. He and his family are shunned, and then subject to violence. The book deal morphs into a crass trashy occult-baiting book. The poor man's entire life is upended.
The film has lots to say about the absurdity of the mob - whether in hyping someone up or tearing them down. The increasingly surreal dreams are beautifully executed. And through it all we have Cage's measured, disbelieving, horrified Professor. People are right when they say it's the most well-modulated performance Cage has given in years - playing against type - or rather the caricature that Cage sometimes puts forth of himself.
The resulting film is an intelligent and darkly absurd satire that entertains and provokes. Superb!
DREAM SCENARIO is rated R and has a running time of 102 minutes. It played Toronto 2023 and was released in the USA and UK last November.