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

Director:

Richard Linklater
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Popularity
4,701 ( 349)
5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the names of candy bars in a store toward the film's end were changed in animation. Hershey's bars become "Hercules", Mentos are now "Memos", and Junior Mints were changed to "Junior Pants". See more »

Quotes

Man on the Train: Hey, are you a dreamer?
Wiley: Yeah.
Man on the Train: I haven't seen too many around lately. Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming is dead, no one does it anymore. It's not dead it's just that it's been forgotten, removed from our language. Nobody teaches it so nobody knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well, I'm trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming, every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest ...
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

Gill 2 Second Movement
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
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User Reviews

 
How could anyone not enjoy this movie?
2 December 2004 | by superfragglerockSee all my reviews

Okay, i haven't read any comments yet, but a lot of the "one line summaries" sound negative. I just finished watching this film, and registered an account with IMDb solely to speak of this film. These are the types of movies that we should be expecting from filmmakers today. Aren't we all tired of the blockbuster bullshit by now? True, it's not a "typical movie" and yes...it is a cartoon. But, the style is completely unique and entirely necessary for the story. If it were simply caught on film and released in that same manor, it would not have had the monstrous effect that it had, and it would not have come across in a way that would retain the interest of this generation's ADD youth (which SHOULD be it's primary demographic...they are the ones who can still change this world, and create the paradigm shift that is necessary) This movie is the fiber of all life, it IS that collective unconscious from which we all draw our own, personal beings. It explains the philosophies of years gone by and minutes gone by in a way that anyone could understand them. While I know that some closed minded people are going to be scared and confused by all of this necessary information, if only one mind is opened because of it, I know that Richard Linklater would be greatly pleased.


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