7.0/10
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637 user 122 critic

What Dreams May Come (1998)

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After he dies in a car crash, a man searches heaven and hell for his beloved wife.

Director:

Vincent Ward

Writers:

Richard Matheson (novel), Ronald Bass (screenplay) (as Ron Bass)
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Popularity
2,893 ( 367)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Peter Kassovitz
Stars: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Éva Igó
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Chris Nielsen
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Albert Lewis
Annabella Sciorra ... Annie Collins-Nielsen
Max von Sydow ... The Tracker
Jessica Brooks Grant Jessica Brooks Grant ... Marie Nielsen
Josh Paddock Josh Paddock ... Ian Nielsen
Rosalind Chao ... Leona
Lucinda Jenney ... Mrs. Jacobs
Maggie McCarthy Maggie McCarthy ... Stacey Jacobs
Wilma Bonet Wilma Bonet ... Angie
Matt Salinger Matt Salinger ... Reverend Hanley
Carin Sprague ... Best Friend Cindy
June Carryl ... Woman in Car Accident (as June Lomena)
Paul P. Card IV Paul P. Card IV ... Paramedic
Werner Herzog ... Face
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Storyline

After Chris Nielsen dies in a car accident, he is guided through the afterlife by his spirit guide, Albert. His new world is beautiful and can be whatever Chris imagines. Even his children are there. But, when his wife, Annie, commits suicide and is sent to hell, Chris ignores Albert's warnings and journeys there to save her. Upon arrival, Chris finds that rescuing Annie will be more difficult than he'd imagined. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

After life there is more. The end is just the beginning.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving death, some disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Más allá de los sueños See more »

Filming Locations:

Ross, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,833,592, 4 October 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$55,485,043

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,485,043
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Nielsen's fictional grave is located in Mount View Cemetery in Oakland, California. Near the scene's filming location is a real gravesite for an Anna Nielsen and her husband. See more »

Goofs

When the car is launched into the air and is about to slam into Chris, it shows him bracing for impact. In the next shot he is not there when the car slams into the other car. See more »

Quotes

Chris Nielsen: That's when I realized I'm part of the problem. Not because I remind you. But because I couldn't join you. So I left you alone. Don't give up, okay?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer after the end credits: "The persons and events in this production are fictitious. No similarity to actual persons, living, dead or reincarnated is intended or should be inferred." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Brian's Got a Brand New Bag (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Chris & Annie's Theme
Based on variations of "Beside You"
Composed by Mark Snow (as Martin Fulterman) and Michael Kamen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What dreams are made of...
14 April 2000 | by The_CoreSee all my reviews

To hell with the critics and the cynics. I absolutely love this movie - it's in my top ten (or maybe even top five) list of favorite movies (I saw it at least 3 times in the theater and own it on DVD). I have to admit, I'm one of those non- (almost anti-) elitist, "I don't know art, but I know what I like" type people. I also truly love positive, upbeat movies with happy endings. Not to say that "realistic" movies aren't also great, but there is room for everything in the moviemaking genre. Isn't there enough depressing "realism" on the evening news to satisfy even the most jaded cynic?

I can't say exactly what it is that strikes me about this movie. The incredible color-saturated visuals and special effects certainly help. The acting talents of Robin Williams and Max Von Sydow help. And I loved the story. Emotionally manipulative it may be, but this is one of those films where I WANTED to be manipulated, where I willingly participated. Apparently some people resented it, but I was sobbing through much the movie, and glad to be doing so. Laugh if you please, say whatever you want... this movie touches my heart.

"Deep" it isn't, not terribly. On a metaphysical level, it goes only slightly beyond new-age kitsch. Very few of the afterlife scenes and concepts agree with the spiritual outlook of any known religion. But I don't care. Again, if a movie touches my heart in just the right place, I can forgive it almost anything. This one did. 9/10.


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