7.8/10
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515 user 147 critic

Waking Life (2001)

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

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3,585 ( 148)

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5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Jack Brooks ...
...
...
Glover Gill ...
Lara Hicks ...
Ames Asbell ...
Leigh Mahoney ...
Sara Nelson ...
Jeanine Attaway ...
Erik Grostic ...
...
Boat Car Guy
Robert C. Solomon ...
Philosophy Professor
...
Herself
Eamonn Healy ...
Shape-Shifting Man
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:

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Details

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Release Date:

16 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Despertando a la vida  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$88,977 (USA) (21 October 2001)

Gross:

$2,892,011 (USA) (28 April 2002)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem quoted by Timothy Levitch on the bridge is "Sleepless City (Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne)" by Frederico Garcia Lorca. See more »

Quotes

Philosophy Professor: The reason why I refuse to take existentialism as just another French fashion or historical curiosity, is that I think it has something very important to offer us for the new century. I'm afraid we're losing the real virtues of living life passionately in the sense of taking responsibility for who you are, the ability to make something of yourself and feel good about life. Existentialism is often discussed as if it's, a philosophy of despair, but I think the truth is just the opposite. Sartre, ...
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in AniMat's Classic Reviews: A Scanner Darkly (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cosa Pequeña
Performed by TOSCA
Written by Glover Gill
Courtesy of Nois Records
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User Reviews

 
Fantastic Work of Film Art
19 August 2002 | by (Philly, PA) – See all my reviews

Waking Life has broken new ground surrounding the idea of animation. Filming people, then having artists with different styles "animate" the recorded scenes was brilliant. The visuals are constantly changing, providing an aurora of sights that you can not take your eyes off of. Trippy? Yes, Burnt Out? No- This movie can not only be appreciated for the wild images, but for the story-line as well... On second thought-story-line might not be the right word. The actual "plot" of this movie can be seen as an hour and a half of the most interesting philosophy course one can find. The characters and conversations are deep, fascinating, and thought-provoking. You must see this movie more than once because it is almost impossible to absorb what you see and be able to fully appreciate the genius of the script. I've seen it about 5 times and there are still some scenes I have yet to fully grasp. Sit back and treat your eyes and mind to the most stimulating film of the year.


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