Waking Life (2001)
Critic Consensus: Waking Life's inventive animated aesthetic adds a distinctive visual component to a film that could easily have rested on its smart screenplay and talented ensemble cast.
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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.
This is a wildly invigorating, unexpectedly thrilling and even moving film.
You'll find more self-involvement and cod philosophising here than in all the world's coffee houses.
Audience Reviews for Waking Life
The animation keeps interesting what Linklater's live-action Slacker didn't always, and it helps that, to some extent, the conversations in this film have a theme. It's engrossing, a real trip.
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.
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