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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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The basic plot of the film is based on a physiological phenomenon known as "lucid dreaming". Lucid dreaming means dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming. The term was coined by Frederik van Eeden who used the word "lucid" in the sense of mental clarity. Many of the dream state idiosyncrasies described in the film, such as the inability to read time on a digital watch or the tendency of light switches to malfunction, are described in studies authored by Dr. Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University, the leading American authority on lucid dreaming. See more »

Quotes

Philosophy Professor: What you do makes a difference. We should never simply write ourselves off and see ourselves as the victim of various forces. It's always our decision who we are.
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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

Spoofed in My Big Fat Independent Movie (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cosa Pequeña
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
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User Reviews

Wonderful
25 October 2002 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Waking Life is an amazing, visual, and completely original work of art from filmmaker Richard Linklater. It is not only one of the very best films to be released in 2001, but also one of the most thought provoking films I've ever seen. Watching it is an amazing experience in itself. Its visual style is stunning. Digital animation is put over live action actors in a style that every scene is like some kind of a post-modern painting that you would see in an art gallery. The story follows a young man by the name of Wiley Wiggins and his encounters with many interesting people. He listens to their thoughts and theories, but doesn't really understand why. He is in an on-going lucid dream that takes him to odd, but fascinating encounters with people and places. I absolutely loved this film. It is one of those rare films that takes you away from your seat and into a world that you are placed right in the middle of and when it ends, the only thing you can say is, `Wow!'


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