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Waking Life (2001)

R  |   |  Animation, Drama, Fantasy  |  7 March 2002 (Australia)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 43,287 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 499 user | 134 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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

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A nameless young character goes into travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers as well, having banal conversations, dedicating his existence into daily mundane ... See full summary »

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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 ...
Bill Wise ...
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 | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Despertando a la vida  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$2,892,011 (USA) (26 April 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting took 22 days, using a PC1 and TVR900 Sony consumer-level cameras. See more »

Quotes

Accordion Player: And this is where I think language came from. It came from our desire to transcend our isolation and have some sort of connection with one another. And it had to be easy when it was just simple survival, like water we came up with a sound for that
[... ]
Accordion Player: but when we use that same system of symbols to communicate all the abstract and intangible things that we're experiencing. When I say love the sound comes out of my mouth and it hits the other person's ear, travel through this Byzantine conduit ...
See more »

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 American Prince (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturna
Performed by Glovertango
Written by Julián Plaza (as Julian Plaza)
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Inc.
See more »

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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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