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Wake Up Running: A Story of Losers (2003)

Faces on Mars (original title)
Two British immigrants, on the run from the INS, hide in an apartment in Los Angeles, only to fall into the deluded world of a wounded Hollywood receptionist.


Jane Spencer


Jane Spencer




Credited cast:
Alexa Jago ... Blair / Beatrice
Riley Novak Riley Novak ... Colin
Barry O'Rourke ... Ian
Gianin Loffler ... Geoffrey
Barry Papick ... Larry
Stephanie Venditto Stephanie Venditto ... Gwen
Sarah Scott Davis ... Liz
John Forde ... Frank
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chris Rossi ... Dave (as Christopher Rossi)
Christopher Yohe Christopher Yohe ... Phillipe


Two British immigrants, on the run from the INS, hide in an apartment in Los Angeles, only to fall into the deluded world of a wounded Hollywood receptionist.

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'A dark comedy about the Social Darwinism of Nobodies in Hollywood'



Official Sites:

Official site


USA | Switzerland



Release Date:

28 January 2003 (Switzerland) See more »

Also Known As:

Wake Up Running: A Story of Losers See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Official selection Solothurn Film Festival, 2003, (screened in rough cut) (as a Swiss/USA co-production) See more »

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User Reviews

What Cinema should be
7 January 2008 | by Papadeas13See all my reviews

If you like films like Withnail and I and television shows such as The Young Ones, you will simply adore this gem from the director of past Sundance hit Little Noises.

A mixture of Brecht, British Social Realism and Reality TV - this low budget indie digital film, dark comedy depicts the true underbelly of "artists as struggling workers" in Los Angeles (or rather in a city on the outskirts of Tinsel Town) - all competing and conspiring against one another in a society geared toward unbridled individualism and self-promotion.

Two Brits on the run from the INS in Los Angeles find themselves hiding out in an apartment inhabited by struggling actors - all of whom are taking advantage of a rich man with a trust fund who owns the apartment and wants to create an experimental/egalitarian habitat.

What ensues is a hilarious examination of human behavior and the excesses of the pursuit of self-interest at the expense of solidarity.

Moreover, Director Jane Spencer is highly successful on giving the film some depth through psychological side stories for our main characters. Everyone has a wound - everyone is trying to resolve it in some way. Everyone needs love and attention - but can't find it in a society where everything is for sale.

The cinematography is functional and serves the chaotic purpose of the narrative.

This director should make more movies - as substance of storytelling and political focus is sorely lacking in todays hyper stylized monstrosities masquerading as cinema.

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