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Waking Life (2001)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 38,665 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 493 user | 137 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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5 wins & 15 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 ...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The shot of the building immediately before the Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke scene is actually a portion of the opening shot from the remake of Psycho (1998). See more »

Quotes

Man on TV: I do not await the future, anticipating salvation, absolution, not even enlightenment through process. I subscribe to the premise that this flawed perfection is sufficient and complete, in every single ineffable moment.
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 Groundhog Day (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
very good, creative, expansion of Slackers
27 February 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is rare for a director to return to a film and improve it but Linklater does it here. Taking the general form of Slackers, he adds a metaphysical story line and coats it with extraordinary eye candy.

The rotoscoping really provides an acid trip experience of constantly shifting planes with backgrounds going one way and characters going the other.

The string quartet tango score also is an excellent use of music to reinforce the exotic aspects of the production.

The monologues are thought provoking and compelling. The story line examining dream/death connection is novel. Score points for originality of story, art direction and narrative line. Some quite funny parts (e.g. boat car, bar shoot out, etc.), some creepy parts (e.g. jailbird rant, second boat man meeting, etc.).

I have seen this several times and enjoyed it every time. Farily rare is the movie that can really stand up to multiple viewings. This is one.

Very refreshing. See it.


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