7.8/10
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515 user 147 critic

Waking Life (2001)

A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe.

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5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Jack Brooks ...
...
...
Glover Gill ...
Lara Hicks ...
Ames Asbell ...
Leigh Mahoney ...
Sara Nelson ...
Jeanine Attaway ...
Erik Grostic ...
...
Boat Car Guy
Robert C. Solomon ...
Philosophy Professor
...
Herself
Eamonn Healy ...
Shape-Shifting Man
J.C. Shakespeare ...
Burning Man
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Storyline

Dreams. What are they? An escape from reality or reality itself? Waking Life follows the dream(s) of one man and his attempt to find and discern the absolute difference between waking life and the dreamworld. While trying to figure out a way to wake up, he runs into many people on his way; some of which offer one sentence asides on life, others delving deeply into existential questions and life's mysteries. We become the main character. It becomes our dream and our questions being asked and answered. Can we control our dreams? What are they telling us about life? About death? About ourselves and where we come from and where we are going? The film does not answer all these for us. Instead, it inspires us to ask the questions and find the answers ourselves. Written by Jeff Mellinger <jmell@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

16 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Despertando a la vida  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$88,977 (USA) (19 October 2001)

Gross:

$2,892,011 (USA) (26 April 2002)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Quotes

Philosophy Professor: The reason why I refuse to take existentialism as just another French fashion or historical curiosity, is that I think it has something very important to offer us for the new century. I'm afraid we're losing the real virtues of living life passionately in the sense of taking responsibility for who you are, the ability to make something of yourself and feel good about life. Existentialism is often discussed as if it's, a philosophy of despair, but I think the truth is just the opposite. Sartre, ...
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Crazy Credits

Because almost none of the characters are named, a clip from their appearance is shown during the credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in What Is Cinema? (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturna
Performed by Glovertango
Written by Julián Plaza (as Julian Plaza)
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Score one for the dreamers
27 January 2003 | by (Notre Dame, IN) – See all my reviews

Waking Life is among a handful of films (Woyzeck, Magnolia, The Passion of Anna) that really frustrate me, because as much as I love them I can't necessarily recommend them to everyone. There are certain films for which one needs to be on a certain wavelength to enjoy, no matter how cultured or intelligent. This film is best for those who have sat around thinking about the big questions in life for long periods of time, dying for someone to talk to about them. I guess Waking Life isn't about those questions so much as it's about the people who are asking them, the wonderers, the thinkers, and especially the dreamers. For those who can appreciate it, it's a cleansing experience, one of a purity and beauty that has no equal in the films I've been fortunate enough to see.


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