Waking Life

March 7th, 2002


Waking Life

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Ethan Hawke at event of Waking LifeEthan Hawke at event of Waking LifeEthan Hawke and Richard Linklater at event of Waking LifeEthan Hawke and Richard Linklater at event of Waking LifeEthan Hawke at event of Waking LifeRichard Linklater at event of Waking Life

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

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 7.5/10 (26,578 voted)

Critic's Score: 82/100

Director: Richard Linklater

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Trevor Jack Brooks, Lorelei Linklater

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.

Trevor Jack Brooks - Young Boy Playing Paper Game
Lorelei Linklater - Young Girl Playing Paper Game
Wiley Wiggins - Main Character
Glover Gill - Accordion Player
Lara Hicks - Violin Player
Ames Asbell - Viola Player
Leigh Mahoney - Viola Player
Sara Nelson - Cello Player
Jeanine Attaway - Piano Player
Erik Grostic - Bass Player
Bill Wise - Boat Car Guy
Robert C. Solomon - Philosophy Professor
Kim Krizan - Herself
Eamonn Healy - Shape-Shifting Man
J.C. Shakespeare - Burning Man


Official Website: Fox Searchlight [United States] (Flash4 and Quicktime) |

Release Date: 7 March 2002

Filming Locations: Austin, Texas, USA

Opening Weekend: $88,977 (USA) (21 October 2001) (4 Screens)

Gross: $2,892,011 (USA) (28 April 2002)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Argentina:  | Australia:  | Germany:  | Spain:

Did You Know?

Another clip from the Monkey's lecture film shows Kurt Cobain in concert spinning his guitar over his head and throwing it into an amplifier. This was taken from the documentary he conceived in 1993 called "Live, Tonight, Sold Out".

John Christensen: ...and as we all know, fun rules.

User Review

How could anyone not enjoy this movie?

Rating: 10/10

Okay, i haven't read any comments yet, but a lot of the "one line summaries" sound negative. I just finished watching this film, and registered an account with IMDb solely to speak of this film. These are the types of movies that we should be expecting from filmmakers today. Aren't we all tired of the blockbuster bullshit by now? True, it's not a "typical movie" and yes...it is a cartoon. But, the style is completely unique and entirely necessary for the story. If it were simply caught on film and released in that same manor, it would not have had the monstrous effect that it had, and it would not have come across in a way that would retain the interest of this generation's ADD youth (which SHOULD be it's primary demographic...they are the ones who can still change this world, and create the paradigm shift that is necessary) This movie is the fiber of all life, it IS that collective unconscious from which we all draw our own, personal beings. It explains the philosophies of years gone by and minutes gone by in a way that anyone could understand them. While I know that some closed minded people are going to be scared and confused by all of this necessary information, if only one mind is opened because of it, I know that Richard Linklater would be greatly pleased.


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