Waking Life (2001)
Critic Consensus: The talky, animated Waking Life is a unique, cerebral experience.
A boy has a dream that he can float, but unless he holds on, he will drift away into the sky. Even when he is grown up, this idea recurs. After a strange accident, he walks through what may be a dream, flowing in and out of scenarios and encountering various characters. People he meets discuss science, philosophy and the life of dreaming and waking, and the protagonist gradually becomes alarmed that he cannot awake from this confusing dream.
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Critic Reviews for Waking Life
This inventive animated film, which takes Linklater back to his roots in Austin and Slacker, represents a summation of all the philosophical concerns that have defined him as spokesperson for Gen-X.
The endless philosophising is a bit sophomoric and more jokes would help, but this is one of a kind that grows more absorbing the longer it runs.
For a movie heralded as the cutting edge of visual innovation, Waking Life is disappointingly dull in every other respect.
A far-out-man poetry slam, art exhibit and imaginative philosophical discourse all at once drifts gently down a stream of consciousness until merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, "Waking Life" is but a dream. Who says existential fiction must be dreary?
Audience Reviews for Waking Life
As with "Slacker", some of the pieces will likely feel more underwhelming depending on the viewer, but as a compilation of concepts and emotions all tied together through the common theme of dreams, "Waking Life" is a much more enjoyable and mature film than "Slacker" in both content and form, an existential rollercoaster that encapsulates all of Linklater's work up until that point (almost literally), while almost daring himself to top it. With this film, though, Linklater's genius as a thinker finally seems to escape its shackles, just as "Before Sunrise" unleashed him as a storyteller who works beyond limitations.
A fuck for all senses.
Basically an animated sequel to Linklater's debut (Slacker). Very impressive.
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