Waking Life

Watch Waking Life

"Dreams. What are they? An escape from reality or reality itself?"
  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 7.7  (66,237)
  • 84

Waking Life, directed by Richard Linklater, is a unique and innovative film that explores the nature of existence, consciousness, and reality. The movie follows a young man, played by Wiley Wiggins, who is trapped in a surreal dream-like state, wandering through a series of different situations and conversations, trying to make sense of his strange surroundings and the cryptic messages he receives.

The film is set in Austin, Texas, and features a cast of characters who are played by a mix of actors and real-life philosophers, scientists, and scholars. Ethan Hawke, Trevor Jack Brooks, and Lorelei Linklater are among the talented ensemble of actors who bring this cerebral and thought-provoking film to life.

Linklater uses a groundbreaking animation technique called "rotoscoping" to give the movie a dream-like quality, with the characters and backgrounds constantly morphing and changing, as if they are part of a constantly shifting dream landscape. This technique was also used in Linklater's previous film, 1991's "A Scanner Darkly."

As the protagonist journeys through this surreal landscape, he encounters a series of characters who engage him in conversations about the nature of reality, consciousness, and existence. These conversations are partially scripted, but also incorporate real-life interviews with philosophers, scholars, and scientists, who discuss topics ranging from free will to physics to the meaning of life.

The film features a series of thought-provoking monologues that are likely to challenge viewers' preconceptions and spark new ideas and perspectives. Some of the topics explored include the nature of time, the meaning of art, the role of language in shaping reality, and the possibility of multiple universes.

As the protagonist continues on his journey, he encounters a range of characters, including a woman who recites poetry about dreaming and a man who claims to be a character from a novel. There are also several other dream-like interactions and visual set pieces, including a sequence where the protagonist floats through the air as if he's weightless.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the film is the way it blurs the lines between waking life and dreams, and between reality and imagination. The protagonist repeatedly questions whether he is awake or dreaming, and some of the conversations suggest that there may be no clear distinction between the two.

Overall, Waking Life is a mind-bending, visually stunning cinematic work that defies easy categorization. It's a movie that is likely to intrigue and inspire viewers who are interested in exploring the deeper aspects of human consciousness and the nature of reality. While it may not be a film for everyone, those who are open to its unconventional approach are sure to find it to be a unique and rewarding cinematic experience.

Waking Life is a 2001 animated movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 84.

Waking Life
Where to Watch Waking Life
Waking Life is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Waking Life for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (66,237)
  • Metascore