Nicolas Cage doesn’t look like the heroic figure we’ve come to expect in “Dream Scenario.”
He’s older, stoop-shouldered and bald. Yet when a bizarre plot twist turns the tables on Cage’s character, he fights back like a caged animal.
He’s trapped, after all.
The film’s villain is Cancel Culture, and this time there’s not a scare quote in sight. It’s very real to the main character, and it could be his undoing.
Cancel Culture has been haunting the creative community, and society at large, for a while. Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood have met it head on, pleading for forgiveness lest their careers come crashing to a halt.
Or so they fear.
Morgan Wallen watched in horror as an ugly word said in private nearly capsized his career. Virtually no one came to his defense save his fans, who quickly restored him to the top of the charts.
Hollywood has been reticent to tackle it directly on screens large or small.
“Saturday Night Live” won’t touch it. Late-night comics avoid the subject or minimize its corrosive effect. Sometimes, comedians even cheer it on.
Now, select filmmakers are speaking out on the subject.
Last year’s Oscar-bait drama “Tar” featured a celebrated musician “cancelled” for her off-stage behavior. A critical scene from the Cate Blanchett feature went viral during its theatrical release. The clip shows Blanchett’s conductor berating a snowflake student for being too precious by half.
— Roy Cam (@Roy_Cam) November 17, 2022
Cage’s “Dream Scenario,” by comparison, tackles the subject head-on. The story follows a nebbishy college professor who mysteriously begins appearing in strangers’ dreams.
The trouble begins when his dream doppelganger, typically a passive presence, becomes violent. Complete strangers now fear the professor, and he’s unable to go about his day-to-day affairs.
It’s a powerful metaphor for Cancel Culture, even if the film’s dialogue occasionally proves too on-the-nose. Plus, the third act lacks an ending worthy of the curious setup.
The most shocking part?
The film has a robust 92 percent “fresh” rating from liberal film critics.
Another Oscar-season hopeful, “American Fiction,” tackles the woke takeover of the literary world. Jeffrey Wright plays a bookish professor whose stereotypically black novel, written as a lark, becomes a sensation.
The heavily-praised film doesn’t deal with Cancel Culture directly. It still overlaps with the far-Left movement, mocking woke liberals for trying too hard to appease black storytellers.
Next up? “Douglas Is Cancelled,” a “dramedy” starring Hugh Bonneville and Karen Gillan. Bonneville stars as a news anchor whose “world is turned upside down when, at a family wedding, he’s overheard making an “ill-advised joke.” As a guest threatens to expose Douglas on social media the rumor mill goes into overdrive and sparks off a digital storm that quickly upends his life and career.”
Mainstream artists are starting to process what Cancel Culture means, even though they aren’t rising up, en masse, against it. That’s still too scary a proposition for most stars, who genuflect to the woke mob rather than stand up for their problematic past or unconventional opinions.
Halle Berry Apologizes for Remarks After Considering Portraying a Transgender Man https://t.co/8lWVlcLeuA
— People (@people) July 7, 2020