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

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
3,708 ( 138)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr.
Slacker (1991)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A day in the life of Austin, Texas as the camera roams from place to place and provides a brief look at the overeducated, the social misfits, the outcasts and the oddballs.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine
Tape (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three old high school friends pass the time in a Michigan motel room dissecting the painful memories of their high school years.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A U.S. drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.

Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy
Edit

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
Edit

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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 2001 (USA)  »

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The whole film was shot and edited into a complete live-action version before animation began. See more »

Quotes

Burning Man: Man wants chaos. In fact, he's got to have it. Depression, strife, riots, murder. All this dread. We're irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state created out of death and destruction. It's in all of us. We revel in it. Sure, the media tries to put a sad face on these things, painting them up as great human tragedies; but we all know the function of the media has never been to eliminate the evils of the world, no! Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living ...
[...]
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

References After Life (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

El Cholulo
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


160 of 184 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question to lucid dreamers ravikant21490
Top 5 Philosophical Movies neotheonealiasme
Comparing to Inception,,,,,,,,, InTheNameOfCinema
Who wrote all the dialogue? peacefrog88
Learning to lucid dream Indiana_Jones_dude-1
Random Guy in the parking lot quote serchin4apurpose
Discuss Waking Life (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?