7.8/10
52,357
514 user 147 critic

Waking Life (2001)

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

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3,888 ( 165)

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ON DISC
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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

16 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Despertando a la vida  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$2,892,011 (USA) (26 April 2002)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pinball machine in the last scene is a Bally Fireball from 1971. In the film, the brand name "Bally" has been changed to "Rally", and while the name "Fireball" appears in some shots, in others it is changed to something else. The game is also shown in the film with 5 digit score displays while the real game has 4 digit displays. The Player 2 and Player 3 scores are both shown with a score of 11111, which means the player is playing a 3 or 4 player game all by himself and has a very unlikely score, or the machine in the dream is broken. Also, any real pinball machine with 5-digit scoring would have the rightmost digit fixed at "0". See more »

Quotes

Pinball Playing Man: I mean, I'm not saying that you don't know what you're talking about, but I don't know what you're talking about.
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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

Referenced in Time Is Art: Synchronicity and the Collective Dream (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Lastima Grande
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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