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Waking Life (2001)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 39,270 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 495 user | 138 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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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

Plot Keywords:

dream | reality | dreaming | film | death | See more »

Genres:

Animation | Drama

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film described in the story that Steven Soderbergh tells about Louis Malle and Billy Wilder is Black Moon (1975). See more »

Quotes

Man on the Train: Hey, are you a dreamer?
Wiley: Yeah.
Man on the Train: I haven't seen too many around lately. Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming is dead, no one does it anymore. It's not dead it's just that it's been forgotten, removed from our language. Nobody teaches it so nobody knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well, I'm trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming, every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest ...
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 Black Moon (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballade 4
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film for passionate thinkers.
19 March 2003 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most thought provoking films I've ever seen. It's also visually stunning and perfectly acted: every single one of these people seem to be just giving their own opinions as if you were overhearing/having a meaningful conversation with them.

We can chalk this up to the genius of Linklater who over the years has shown not only the pretentiously humorous coffee house crowd cliches but also the searching, often deeply insightful side of our generation that the media overlooked when we were dubbed slackers. In films he has written: "Slacker" and "Before Sunrise" and in his films of stage plays Bogosian's brilliant, Chekhovian "SubUrbia" and the faintly melodramatic "Tape", Linklater has always been fascinated with the question of what we should doing with our lives. Our responsibility is to contribute something lasting and meaningful to our society. But what exactly is that? Where and when should I do it? Who with? How do I know if I've really found it? Why is it so important again, anyway?

I saw this movie for the first time late last night and 5 minutes before it started I had fallen asleep and was hoping I'd be able to make it all the way through the film. From the first frame I was riveted and completely awake and remained so even after it was over; contemplating all the myriad viewpoints the film had thrown at me.

This movie is so exciting and bursting with ideas that I'm going to buy the DVD as soon as I possibly can and watch it over and over trying to absorb it all.

See this film. It will remind you of how thrilling it is to be an active thinking, feeling member of the human race.


142 of 174 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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