Waking Life

Rated 2.0 Writer/director Richard Linklater examines the world of dreams, following a protagonist as he continually awakens from one dream after another—only to find that each new “reality” is just another dream. The dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams is hardly new. Linklater’s approach, however, literally puts a new face on it: he shoots the film live-action, then “rotoscopes” it—painting over the images to make them look like animation. The technique gives the film a certain visual novelty, but the problem is that there are few things as boring as listening to other people’s dreams. Linklater’s characters—devoid of personalities or even names—blather on endlessly about fantasy, reality, waking, dreaming, etc. The incessant navel-gazing wears out its welcome long before the final credits.