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Waking Life (2001)

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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
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

Shooting took 22 days, using a PC1 and TVR900 Sony consumer-level cameras. See more »

Quotes

Celine: I've been thinking also about something you said.
Jesse: What's that?
Celine: Just about reincarnation and where all the new souls come through over time. Everybody says they have been the reincarnation of Cleopatra or Alexander The Great. I always want to tell them they were probably some dumb fuck like everybody else.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Bloom & Gloom (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

random beauty of the subconscious
12 December 2004 | by la_jane16See all my reviews

Waking Life is probably one of the most randomly amazing works that I have seen. It's lack of a plot, random events, and constant motion give it the dreamlike feel. The ideas are all so intriguing that I don't understand how anyone can hate this movie. I can understand that it could be hard to sit through if you're tired, or if you refuse to contemplate the endless possibilities presented. I'll also admit that some people would find it very hard to watch the animation, but to me it keeps your attention. I tried to imagine what this movie would have been like if it hadn't been animated and I don't think it would have had the impact on as many people as it has if it weren't for the animation. I think that anyone who enjoys the topic of dreams would find it worthwhile. I could watch this movie over and over and still find something that I hadn't noticed before. If you don't like movies that make you think, don't watch it. But if you want a movie that gives you a lot of things to think about and allows you the freedom to interpret it in many different ways . . . check it out!


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