Waking Life

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
Profanity
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

Impressionistically animated drama directed by Richard Linklater about a man (Wiley Wiggins) who may or may not be in a dream state. We follow him as he moves from place to place encountering odd characters who converse with him about the meaning and reality of human existence, intriguing subjects from evolution to reincarnation, and whether there's a difference between being awake and dreaming. Also with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Louis Black, Steve Brudniak, John Christensen, Lorelei Linklater and Timothy Speed Levitch. [1:37]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man and woman kiss. One man talks about being able to have as much sex as one would want when one is dreaming. A man and woman are seen talking in bed together; he's bare-chested and she's in a tank top. A man is bare-chested and a man is in bed with bare shoulders. Two couples dance.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man pours a tank of gas over his head and lights a match setting himself on fire while people on the street watch; we see the man being engulfed in flames. Two men shoot each other and we see splattered spots of blood. A man squats down in a street and a car approaches; he is presumably hit but we don't see anything apart from a frightened expression on his face. A man describes having shot a man several times and talks about the man being covered with blood -- during this scene he has a large knife in his hand. A man paces in a jail cell yelling and describing methods of torture (apparently threatening his jailers). A man yells through a loud speaker as he drives his car through streets. Scenes from rock concerts are seen where the performers swing their instruments around and throw them.

PROFANITY 5 - 5 F-words and one obscene hand gesture, 4 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 5 mild obscenities, 2 derogatory terms for homosexuals. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Dreams, time, illusions, death, evolution, self-destructive behavior, chaos, reincarnation, collective memory, free will, individuality, control, doubt, the right to bear arms, isolation, alienation, restraint.

MESSAGE - It's what you do with what you have that determines the direction of your life. Savor life.

(Note: There are a few conversations about God's place in the existence of the universe. A few characters are seen smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.)

Special Keywords: S2 - V3 - P5 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.




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