Wide Awake (1998 film)

Wide Awake [ waɪd ə ˌ weɪk ] is an American feature film from the year 1998. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who also wrote the screenplay. The film can be mainly the film genre of comedy and drama to assign. It tells the story of a ten year old boy who goes after the death of his grandfather in search of God.

  • 4.1 reviews
  • 4.2 Revenue and Awards


The ten- year-old Joshua embarks on the search for God after his beloved grandfather died. In the search, he comes to the Catholic boys' school " Waldron Academy" in some difficulties and devastating situations. Along with the help of his friend and interested in sports nun he tried the mystery that surrounds God to lift. When he wounded by one of his epileptic seizures finds his friend in his room, he can save it and then decides to abandon the search for God.


After his autobiographical film Praying with Anger, which was praised by most film critics Shyamalan is a new story for the screen, set about to write. He wrote a screenplay with the core story that a little boy embarks on a search for God. After he had completed the script, the filmmakers looked for a film studio out. So he came to the Miramax Studios, who accepted the script and allowed him to stage the film itself, as they Praying with Anger had liked.

Shyamalan was supervised by producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein. For his comedy-drama he won Actor Joseph Cross, Rosie O'Donnell and Julia Stiles, and he was a budget of about 6 million U.S. dollars provided. In 1995, the filming and the film began came three years late in 1998 in the American cinema.

Film analysis


Shyamalan builds using an "exact directorial effort " and image design always surprising moments: One such example is the church scene. Joshua and his grandfather sitting on a bench in the church. The little boy watched his grandpa. After the pastor calling for receiving Communion for the sick, " shows the camera from Joshua's perspective, a woman who follows the call. " The boy says in a close-up then, he had not known that Mrs. Pitman was sick. However, when he turns to his grandfather, this is, surprisingly, also went to the front. Again, next to his grandson, he prays a rosary. Joshua stares at him, meanwhile, aghast.

Another twist in " the form of a nachgeschoben information can be found towards the end of the film ." Joshua plays after David's epilepsy seizure, at night in the front yard with his toy truck that is loaded with earth. He gave up search for God, he came to the conclusion God only an invention. The viewer is thus located at the dramatic turning point of the figure. In his game, Joshua reminded by a flashback to a school race he wanted to win for his grandpa in the barrel, however, came to fall. While the others have already reached the goal of his grandfather calls him to keep running. After crossing the finish line Joshua falls to the old man, " for probably the last time in his arms ." After this flashback the viewer is now clear what the vice game and the earth: with the earth he buries his beloved shirt his grandpa. At his funeral he does not want to participate. "This reinterpretation of the initially harmless childhood game in a serious and sad symbol of action works as dramaturgical clip which frames a narrative unit as such. " Furthermore, however, it also engages the semantic content and reflects on him resist.

Color design

Wide Awake is characterized by natural and pastel shades. The warm but dark colors are sometimes drawn from the locations. In North America East, the " Bright and sunny the pale sky of California ", which occurs primarily in U.S. family films and series comes only limited off what gives the film this certain " color dark ". In addition, he is settled in the autumn or winter time, producing a pale, diffused light into the interior spaces. This " ensättigte ( and ensättigende ) lighting " can be the faces of the protagonists pale, white, and appear vulnerable.

In The Village - The Village or The Sixth Sense the color red was an important part in the history, but in Wide Awake to find this color very rare. He is mostly " washed out or abgetöhnt, contaminated, as Russet or, at most, and scarlet ." Also yellow looks rather pale. Their use in school Sportswear is arguably the most striking, but even there it appears pale and with a penchant for orange. Thus, it blends perfectly with its surroundings and does not sting as a "signal color" out.



In the U.S. the reviews were average of (41 % of the collected reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were positive).

" The warm-hearted, child-friendly film is serious about essential problems apart and entertains at the same time thanks to the good performer. The second directorial effort from M. Night Shyamalan's "The Sixth Sense", already shining through many of his subjects in the. "

" With a full string and brass insert the orchestra returns to the music track, the already emotionally forced moments [ ... ] with the repeated melody even further out and therefore unterlaüft Shyamalan rest, comparatively subtle staging such as camera movement and color composition. "

" Depth wins the game religiously primed light not in moments of assurance of salvation, but in moments of doubt and despondency. [ ... ] In flashbacks Shyamalan succeed, not least thanks to its lead actor Joseph Cross and Robert Loggia in the grandfather role, touching scenes. Maybe it's the down to earth realistic primer from "Wide Awake", the thickly applied drama simply can not tolerate. Called [ ... ] Shyamalan's infamous hook bar at the end, "Last Minute Twists ", can not tell you. Here you have it not feel guilty, because the blond curly Rauschgoldengel in civil rather provides for "Last Minute kitsch" - a surprise dripping of Art "

" The thoughtful family film with New Age sensitivity has the best intentions, but just the sense of mission to deliver a content meaningful contribution, can the version of" Hello Mr. God, this is Anna " act as heavy as lead, where lightness would have been needed. Children should in any case show enthusiasm in moderation due to the thickly applied tearfulness and melancholy theme. "

Revenue and Awards

The film is considered a commercial failure as it grossed only $ 282,175 again with a budget of about six million U.S. dollars. Wide Awake was filmed primarily in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The film was nominated for the Young Artist Awards in 1999 as best drama and Joseph Cross as best young actor.