7.8/10
56,221
509 user 140 critic

Waking Life (2001)

Trailer
1:08 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Richard Linklater
5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr.
Slacker (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A day in the life of Austin, Texas as the camera roams from place to place and provides a brief look at the overeducated, the social misfits, the outcasts and the oddballs.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine
Tape (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three old high school friends meet in a Michigan motel room to dissect painful memories from their past.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman
SubUrbia (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of suburban teenagers try to support each other through the difficult task of becoming adults.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Steve Zahn, Jayce Bartok
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A nameless young character goes into travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers as well, having banal conversations, dedicating his existence into daily mundane ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Richard Linklater, James Goodwin, Dan Kratochvil
Boyhood I (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Before Sunset (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A French drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.

Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Jack Brooks Trevor Jack Brooks ... Young Boy Playing Paper Game
Lorelei Linklater ... Young Girl Playing Paper Game
Wiley Wiggins ... Main Character
Glover Gill Glover Gill ... Accordion Player
Lara Hicks Lara Hicks ... Violin Player
Ames Asbell Ames Asbell ... Viola Player
Leigh Mahoney Leigh Mahoney ... Viola Player
Sara Nelson Sara Nelson ... Cello Player
Jeanine Attaway Jeanine Attaway ... Piano Player
Erik Grostic Erik Grostic ... Bass Player
Bill Wise ... Boat Car Guy
Robert C. Solomon Robert C. Solomon ... Philosophy Professor
Kim Krizan ... Herself
Eamonn Healy Eamonn Healy ... Shape-Shifting Man
J.C. Shakespeare J.C. Shakespeare ... Burning Man
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Acordar para a Vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Texas, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,977, 21 October 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,892,011, 28 April 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Several scenes (e.g., the automobile with the loudspeakers on top) are similar to those in Slacker (1990), which was also filmed by Richard Linklater, using some of the same actors. Several of the locations in Austin, TX were also featured in Slacker (1991). See more »

Quotes

John Christensen: Super perfundo on the early eve of your day.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are all rendered in moving, squirming letters. See more »

Connections

References Dazed and Confused (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturna
Performed by Glovertango
Written by Julián Plaza (as Julian Plaza)
Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A mind expanding experience.
23 January 2003 | by oddi-3See all my reviews

I greatly enjoyed Waking Life, I was most impressed by the animation and the philosophical dialog that just kept hanging on the characters' every word. This movie is not for everyone, at least not for those who like their films 'light'. The fact is that Waking Life consists mostly of the main character discussing philosophical topics with various colorful characters. At some point it was difficult to remain concentrated to everything the characters say, for they were rambling quite discoursively, making the audience feel like they're attending a lecture. But the animation makes up for that, because the film has so much visual content that one could also watch it with out the dialog, just being immersed in the art.

I'm not an expert in philosophy, I've just taken one beginners class, although i am interested in the topic. In reply to complaints condemning the film pretentious or complaining that it's philosophical ideas are old or overused. I'd say that Waking Life, rather than trying to reinvent philosophical theories, tries to present these ideas in the form of a film the same way as Jostein Gaarder's book 'Sophie's World'. It could in that way function as a sort of 'window' into the world of philosophy, a first touch. I'd hesitate calling it a beginners guide to philosophy as the language is demanding, especially for non natives. But on my part, I feel having expanded my horizons, by experiencing Waking Life. This movie can be enjoyed on many levels, and also a whole spectrum of interpretations can be drawn from it, watch it and see what it makes you feel.


59 of 83 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 509 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed