6.5/10
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108 user 44 critic

Waking the Dead (2000)

A congressional candidate questions his sanity after seeing the love of his life, presumed dead, suddenly emerge.

Director:

Keith Gordon

Writers:

Scott Spencer (novel), Robert Dillon (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Crudup ... Fielding Pierce
Bill Haugland Bill Haugland ... TV Newsman at Bombing
Nelson Landrieu Nelson Landrieu ... Francisco Higgens
Ivonne Coll ... Gisela Higgens
Jennifer Connelly ... Sarah Williams
Maxine Guess ... Danny's Receptionist
Paul Hipp ... Danny Pierce
Hal Holbrook ... Isaac Green
Lawrence Dane ... Governor Kinosis
Ed Harris ... Jerry Charmichael
Robert Harding Robert Harding ... TV Newsman #2
Janet McTeer ... Caroline Pierce
Molly Parker ... Juliet Beck
Larry Marshall ... Angelo Bertelli
Don Jordan ... Minister with Bertelli on TV
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Storyline

Fielding Pierce lives the life of an aspiring politician - in 1972 he's serving in the Coast Guard (trying to avoid Vietnam in the most honorable way), and by 1973 he has entered law school. Along the way he falls in love with Sarah, a fiercely idealistic woman who devotes her life to helping others - unfortunately she's killed in an explosion while assisting members of the Chilean resistance. Nine years later, in the middle of a congressional election, Fielding is suddenly flooded with thoughts and visions of his lost love. Written by ccampbell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes love has a life of its own.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amor Maior que a Vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$150,422, 26 March 2000

Gross USA:

$270,745

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$270,745
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among those who auditioned for the role of Sarah Williams included Jessica Alba, Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Cameron Diaz, Brittany Murphy, Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder, Tori Spelling, Britney Spears, Hilary Swank and Liv Tyler. The role eventually went to Jennifer Connelly. See more »

Goofs

23 January 1983, the election day, was on a Sunday. See more »

Quotes

Sarah Williams: Ambition is... the ice on the lake of emotion.
[They walk for a moment in silence]
Fielding Pierce: Who said that?
Sarah Williams: I did.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the U.S. DVD release, the passionate sex scene between Fielding and Sarah is more graphic, and contains more nudity. See more »

Connections

References Obsession (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano In The Dark
Written by Chris Marshall
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Politics Vs. Activism
16 July 2004 | by flickershowsSee all my reviews

You'll have to choose sides in 'Waking The Dead'. Are you going to be an obedient politician or a liberal activist? Those opposing viewpoints cause a tug-of-war, with eternal love playing the ever-tightening knot in the middle. Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly are Fielding and Sarah; he the idealistic politician and she the faithful revolutionary. We know from the start that she dies via car bomb while raging against the machine. The movie's chronology is all over the place (which is occasionally confusing) and we see them when they're blissfully happy and otherwise. But after she's gone, the upstanding young man fears for his marbles after he starts to see & hear his dead lover everywhere. Is she actually alive or is he just too insane for public office?

Seeing ghosts is tricky. It can turn into unintentional humour without the proper direction. Director Keith Gordon doesn't pull it off as well as he should, but at least the heat between them seems real. Crudup and Connelly make a great romantic match. She's sandpaper to his block of wood, but she's also his conscience. The phrase "Jiminy Cricket" is actually used, and he succeeds politically only as he's failing emotionally. He clearly needs her whispering in his ear, even if he wouldn't agree with what she would have to say. It's clear that she wouldn't approve of what he's become and he knows it. So I guess that makes her the ghost of Jiminy Cricket too.

The movie would be a turd without strong performances. While no one in the supporting cast has lingered in my memory, the talented leads have. They're both good in almost everything they do, so I expected them to be an excellent duo here too. Connelly has since won an Oscar and Crudup probably will too. Some of Gordon's directorial choices undercut what his actors are doing. His style of editing and use of too many arty shots don't work. When the actors are already front row centre, the director should get out of their way.

What grabbed me about 'Waking The Dead' was that both Fielding and Sarah are trying to make the world a better giant rock. She's counterculture and he's as mainstream as it gets. Since the story boils down to politics versus religion, it's no wonder the film didn't find an audience. Most people have opinions on those matters, yet political correctness demands you not share them. But you ARE allowed to discuss love. The movie knows how to get that right...the ache, the irritation, the yearning, and the loss of true love.


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