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The Shift (2009)

Ambition to Meaning: Finding Your Life's Purpose (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | Video 5 January 2009
In this compelling film, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer explores the spiritual journey from ambition to meaning.


Michael A. Goorjian (as Michael Goorjian)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wayne Dyer Wayne Dyer ... Himself (as Dr. Wayne W. Dyer)
Portia de Rossi ... Denise Moore (as Portia De Rossi)
Edward Kerr ... Chad Moore
Michael DeLuise ... David (as Michael Deluise)
Ron Marasco ... Joe
Shannon Sturges ... Quinn Harper
Maury Sterling ... Jason Harper
Ethan Lipton Ethan Lipton ... Himself
Molly Bryant ... Sarah
Don Franklin ... Rob
Ron Garcia Ron Garcia ... Ron
Karen Kondazian ... Sophia
Ethan Kelley Ethan Kelley ... Ethan Harper
Jack Kelley Jack Kelley ... Jack Harper
Joel Virgel Joel Virgel ... Homeless Man


In this compelling film, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer explores the spiritual journey from ambition to meaning.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated


Official Sites:

Official site | Official site





Release Date:

5 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shift See more »


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lyceum Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Surround)



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jason Harper: What, you think I am going to leave you here all alone?
Quinn Harper: Jason, every cell in my body wants to stay here just a little bit longer.
Jason Harper: Um, I'm hearing you but I have no idea what you're saying.
Quinn Harper: I need to reorient myself, I need to find my way back, and I need solitude to do it.
Jason Harper: Quinn, you're the mother of two small children. You don't get solitude.
See more »

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User Reviews

From the Morning to the Afternoon to the Twilight Zone of Your Life
22 June 2018 | by gppressingonSee all my reviews

I stumbled upon this outstanding film on YouTube this week and have already watched it twice. I know I will need to watch it at least a third time to glean all I missed the first couple times through. And that seems to be the mantra of those who have enjoyed it--you can't watch it just once. (And based on a review here I went ahead and ordered the two-disc expanded edition. This is a film I want to have a hard copy of on the shelf and readily accessible.)

THE SHIFT is a carefully choreographed movie, with all the seemingly disparate subplots dovetailing perfectly. I admired the writer, director, and editor for pulling that off with such aplomb. And it's one of the fastest-moving two-hour movies I have ever seen, wholly without lulls or padding. Every scene propels the story forward and fleshes out the characters.

All the characters and their stories intrigued me, but the two I was most drawn in by were David the filmmaker and the mother who aspired to be a painter. They were good, sincere, creative people and I wanted to see them succeed. Yeah, David was rude and annoying, taking calls right during the filming of Dyer's interview! He made it clear he had contempt for this documentary side gig and all his ambition and attention was on the big project. The loving and self-sacrificing mother was cut to the core when out of the mouth of babes came a blunt denial of an integral part of her. It was a pivotal moment, but that moment of pain led to the rebirth of her passion for painting. I did think she acted irrational when her bumbling but well-meaning husband insisted on seeing her work and she threw a tantrum. Seeing it and admiring it proved instrumental in his agreeing to give her a week's respite from motherhood to pursue her artistic ambitions.

Dr. Wayne Dyer's insights are also expertly woven through the film. I appreciated how the producers would allow the audience time to process what he said by cutting to the stories of the characters, each of which illustrated Dyer's points. I also liked how the camera crew were drawn in by Dyer's teachings. To them this quickly became more than merely a job but a mission to plumb the depths of life's meaning.

Dyer deserves credit for presenting himself as human and flawed. I admit when the film opened with Dyer's waking up in the wee small hours to hand write his book by candlelight I feared I was in for a hagiography of a holy man. But Dyer was frank about his human frailties, such as his drinking problem. His story of abruptly quitting beer guzzling after the 4:05 epiphany is one that will stick with me. It made Dyer more approachable and I respected him all the more for his honesty about that and his early ego-driven ambitions to be a wealthy, famous bestselling author.

A subtle scene worth noting in closing. Early in the film wedding singer Ethan Lipton is talking TWILIGHT ZONE with the wedding planner. Her favorite episode is "Kick the Can," in which some senior citizens regain their youth. Hmm, that show's theme is a relevant one here, I thought, smiling, because I'm a longtime and dedicated fan of the series and appreciated the reference to it. Then I realized as the film unfolded this conversation was very intentional and not without meaning. I am confident the character of Joe the caretaker was an homage to the street peddler in the TWILIGHT ZONE episode "What You Need." In that episode, an old street peddler knows exactly what people need even when they don't, and he provides it. And that is exactly Joe's role in the film, bringing in snacks, art supplies, a baby outfit, and an inspiring word of wise counsel at the very moment people needed it. I marveled at this masterstroke of the writer's, and it added immensely to my enjoyment of this excellent film.

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