DREAM SCENARIO | Filmology With Spoken Nerd

Nightmare on Elm Street vs. Your Biology Professor 

Anything that Nicholas Cage does these days is on my radar and met with a certain expectation. In 2023, most notably, he gave us a western titled, The Old Way, he played Dracula in the horror comedy, Renfield,  and now he rounds off the year with the A24-produced Black Comedy, Dream Scenario

Cage plays Paul Matthews, a mild-mannered biology professor who is about as likable and exciting as my required high school biology class. When Cage begins randomly appearing in people’s dreams, it catapults him into fame as an “unusual celebrity.” Matthews leans into fame in hopes that he can ink a book deal based on his research and non-existent manuscript. Matthews seems harmless enough but begins to show character flaws when the carrot is dangled in front of his eyes.  

Dream Scenario is a thought-provoking narrative that intends for its audience to examine the price of success. This film is reminiscent of the 90’s HBO series, Tales from the Crypt, as its protagonist is faced with an impossible situation that employs karma and self-reflection. Had the weather not been on the chilly side when I was standing outside of the theater afterward, I could have talked with my friend for an hour about the flick. The film had critiques on fame, social media, cancel culture, modernization, and success.  One of the genius and fun aspects of this film was the role of the PR firm that helped Matthews capitalize on his situation. The firm is led by Trent, played by Michael Cera. This role could not have been better executed as Trent and his caffeinated marketing team spin tales of opportunity for Matthews chasing through rabbit hole after rabbit hole. Of course, Matthews has his eye on the prize and is only interested in having his unwritten Biology book published.  

The concept of Dream Scenario is huge and there is much to explore within, and while the film took many different avenues, it seemed noncommittal in every direction it went. I was initially taken aback by this, but afterward, I realized that this left much up to the imagination; what a fantastic way to make a long-lasting impression. Having seen this movie, I am already having dreams about it and am excited to see it again. 


About Nathan Conrad:

He’s best known as the Nashville-based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, singing and/or rapping, juxtaposing his style with real-life situations and subject matter. Occasionally Spoken Nerd will find inspiration in films and will put it into song. With eight full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released. His most recent release Magical Powers.

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