7.8/10
54,940
514 user 139 critic

Waking Life (2001)

Trailer
1:08 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
4,357 ( 362)
5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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 | 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
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
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
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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An ensemble piece examining the health risks involved in the fast food industry and its environmental and social consequences as well.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Bruce Willis, Catalina Sandino Moreno
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
Edit

Cast

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

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Despertando a la vida  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dismissed in a Jonathon Ross review as "young people indulging themselves". See more »

Quotes

Speed Levitch: Life is a matter of a miracle that is collected over time by moments flabbergasted to be in each others presence.
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

Features Saturday Night Live (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballade 3
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Waking Life: philosophical therapy.
7 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

This film, if seen by someone who has DEEPLY considered the mysteries of life, will thoroughly delight. If you don't have a spiritual bone in your body, avoid. It has its flaws, but only in retrospect or through the eyes of another will they be found--and then forgiven if you have even an ounce of heart or a particle of transcendence.

It gets beneath one's radar and past one's filters.

For instance, it hits you perceptually with constantly varying animation styles, and after some time, you adjust to this so much that when you leave the theater, THE WORLD IS ANIMATED--a poetic way of saying that your connection to the proposition that all things are real is loosen WONDERFULLY!

And then, it hits you intellectually by parading a dozen+ viewpoints of persons who would not necessarily disagree with one another, but show the vast importance to us of the personal way we manifest our philosophical axioms and how much that depends on our individual interests-not all of us are psychologically constructed to be philosophers, but all of us can be analyzed to have a philosophical set of suppositions. Waking Life challenges these suppositions by merely presenting to you, in dramatic form, persons who vividly present their `takes' on the concepts and how they are impacted by them...especially emotionally.

Ultimately, this is not a movie, and it shouldn't be viewed as such; instead, one should approach it as therapy. See it, be with it, relax, and GROW. Every time you see it again, the concepts saturate your nervous system with reinforcing patterns that will later "echo" in your dynamics in synergistic ways. A seed gets planted and with repeated viewings the seed gets watered.

Go to this event. See it from a seat that's within the first ten rows of the theater; immerse yourself. Let go. All you have to lose (loosen) is identification with a reflection of the real you.


99 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 514 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial