Waking Life is an animated film directed by Richard Linklater and made in 2001. In a broad scope, it is about a young man in a dream state. During his dream he encounters many characters who philosophize about free will, human existence, perception, reality, and many other topics. There is a large amount of speech done on the topic of existentialism and the misconceptions that are commonly held about it. As the main character travels through his dream he eventually comes to realize that he is dreaming (see lucid dreaming), and that he cannot wake up.
Waking Life has a unique visual style, in that it was filmed in live action, then rendered into animation on a Macintosh computer. The program used to do this was created specifically for the movie, and has the effect of making the visuals more surreal.
Nominated for numerous awards mainly for its technical achievements, Waking Life won the National Society of Film Critics award for "Best Experimental Film", the New York Film Critics Circle award for "Best Animated Film", and the "CinemAvvenire" award at the Venice Film Festival for "Best Film". Waking Life was also nominated for the Golden Lion, the festival's main award.