Amy Heckerling/Richard Linklater

 Amy Heckerling/Richard Linklater
Animated like an Impressionist painting that flows and undulates like a river, Richard Linklater's "Waking Life" is a beautiful, episodic collection of philosophical diatribes. Not entirely successful (the speeches are often too self-contained to resonate with the rest of the film), but it has its moments of transcendence, like the coffee shop conversation about how movies function as a series of "holy moments," or Linklater's own re-telling of one of his dreams that begins with an anecdote about Philip K. Dick, and ends up meandering its way to posing the ultimate question of existence – are we ready to move on, or do we have more to work out here on the earthly plane? "Waking Life" is Linklater's best film since "Slacker," and in a way, this is like a drugged-out, nocturnal sequel; a collection of smartest and most poetic three a.m. conversations you've ever had.