Waking Life Review

Waking Life
A man walks through life as if in a dream, talking to a variety of people about the meaning of life and our perceptions of it.

by Matthew Turner |
Updated on
Release Date:

19 Apr 2002

Running Time:

100 minutes



Original Title:

Waking Life

Director Richard Linklater returns to the ground of his debut indie hit, Slacker — a series of rambling monologues and conversations, each delivered by the inhabitants of Austin, Texas.

However, Waking Life’s innovative twist is that it is filmed using digital cameras, with every frame then drawn over by a team of animators. This creates a dream-like effect that perfectly fits the film’s theme: the nature of dreams versus reality.

As someone tells the unnamed protagonist (Wiley Wiggins), “Most people just sleepwalk through their waking lives,” and the whole film is shown as a dream from which he can’t wake. This is a film that is brimming with ideas and visual invention, but its occasional pretentiousness may prove too much for some.

An intriguing and visually impressive film squarely aimed at the art house crowd.
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