Don’t be fooled by the early trailer for this movie! I was under the impression that it would be more “tame” and “light-hearted” than it is. Make no mistake, while the film has its laughs, it is indeed a dark comedy.
As the title suggests, this is truly an “escapist” movie such that it transports you into another realm, only to whisk you back into reality in the next instant. This is to say that the film flips back and forth between dreams and the real world to the point that I thought I was going to get whiplash – in a good way! To be sure, I never could imagine writing a review with a major call out to the editing team on a movie in the second paragraph. Simply put, the editors did nothing short of a masterful job at stringing together scenes and, in the end, making the movie even more impactful than I had anticipated.
The plot appears to be an original one; at least, I cannot recall a film that would be deemed as similar or a “sibling” to this story. At the center of the movie is the character of Paul Matthews (Nicolas Cage), a nerdy, pedantic, and socially awkward university professor. His character is truly “human” such that while being endearing and affable, he can also be sarcastic and ill-tempered. He lives a life according to his specs such that it is predictable, routine, structured, stable, and by anyone’s description, utterly mundane. However, his life gets turned upside-down when he begins to appear in people’s dreams around the globe. The film moves along swiftly as the consequences of this implausible premise begins to unfold. Interestingly, what eventually unfolds is a good deal more plausible or rather believable insofar as the “follow-on” story evolves.
As for the acting, overall, it was sound, especially considering that there is a plethora of “minor” characters in this movie. ( All you need to do is look up the cast online, and you will see a whole host of actors). I was skeptical that, in one hour and forty-one minutes, the film could not do these “lesser roles” justice – but the screenwriter and director pulled it off! In any case, in terms of acting, there were three standouts. First and foremost is Nicolas Cage who continues to “up his game” with each movie he stars. (I thought his performance in “Pig” was one of his very best, but this performance rivals it). Without question, he steals every scene that he is in. Second would be Michael Cera, who plays a somewhat absurd yet believable character who leads a publishing house. He brings much-needed levity to this film, particularly while Cage’s character struggles to adapt to the new world in which he finds himself.
Third, Dylan Gelula portrays the role of Molly, an intern at Cera’s company. Her character is very challenging and complex, and she handled it in a fashion for which she will no doubt be recognized in the film industry.
Back in the day, this movie would be dubbed an “arthouse film” such that it would never appear in a multiplex theatre. While it has a limited release currently, I am hoping that the movie will soon be more widely distributed. If not, it would be a true shame, such that this movie is not to be missed!
About The Peetimes: It was somewhat challenging to find Peetimes because the number of characters, and sub-plots, is absolutely immense. Nevertheless, the first and third Peetimes work out rather well. The second Peetime should only be used as an emergency.
|(R) Language | Violence | Some Sexual Content
|Lily Bird, Nicolas Cage, Julianne Nicholson
A hapless family man finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. When his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, Paul is forced to navigate his newfound stardom.
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