Dream. Discover. Hello Lovely.

What Dreams May Come Movie Full Movie




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

As I sat down to watch the movie ‘What Dreams May Come,’I didn’t quite know what to expect. The film had been recommended to me by a friend, but aside from knowing that it was a drama about life after death, I was coming in with a blank slate.

Little did I know that this movie would take me on an emotional journey unlike any other.

From the very beginning, ‘What Dreams May Come’ grips you with its stunning visuals and compelling story. We follow Chris Nielsen, played by Robin Williams, as he navigates the afterlife in search of his wife who has taken her own life.

Along the way, we are forced to confront our own beliefs about love, loss, and what comes next after we pass away.

The film explores these themes in a way that is both thought-provoking and heart-wrenching, leaving viewers with much to ponder long after the credits roll.

Key Takeaways

  • "What Dreams May Come"is a drama about life after death that follows Chris Nielsen’s journey in the afterlife to find his wife who committed suicide.
  • The film relies heavily on visual effects, using a combination of practical effects and CGI to create a fantastical yet realistic world, and received several nominations and won an Academy Award for visual effects.
  • Despite receiving mixed reviews from fans and critics upon its release in 1998, the film has stood the test of time as a classic in its genre and has had a significant impact on society and popular culture.
  • The themes and symbolism explored in the film, such as personal growth, emotional impact, love, loss, and the afterlife, as well as the timeless message about love, forgiveness, and redemption, make it a must-watch for fans of the genre and anyone who has experienced loss or struggled with their own demons.

Plot Overview

You’re going to love how the plot of What Dreams May Come unfolds as you follow Chris Nielsen’s journey through the afterlife. The film is a visual masterpiece that utilizes symbolic elements and an intricate narrative structure to explore the themes of love, loss, and redemption.

The story follows Chris, played by Robin Williams, as he navigates his way through various realms of existence after dying in a tragic accident. What makes this movie so unique is its use of stunning visuals and vivid imagery to convey complex emotions.

From the moment Chris enters the afterlife, we are transported on an emotional rollercoaster ride that challenges our perceptions of reality and what it means to be alive. As we follow Chris on his journey, we are drawn into a world full of wonder and mystery that leaves us questioning our own beliefs about life and death.

With such powerful storytelling techniques at play, it’s no surprise that What Dreams May Come has become a cult classic among fans of visionary cinema.

Now let’s delve deeper into some of the themes explored in the film…

Themes Explored in the Film

There’s no denying the powerful themes explored in this film, and did you know that it was nominated for three Academy Awards?

One of the most prominent themes is the exploration of afterlife, which is depicted in a vivid and imaginative way. The film presents a unique vision of what happens after we die, offering a glimpse into a world beyond our wildest dreams. It raises questions about the nature of consciousness, existence, and the meaning of life itself.

Furthermore, ‘What Dreams May Come’ also portrays mental illness in an empathetic light. The character played by Robin Williams struggles with depression and ultimately commits suicide before entering the afterlife. The film shows how mental illness can be debilitating and overwhelming, but also how it can be overcome with love and support from others. It offers hope to those who may be struggling with their own mental health issues or have loved ones who are battling them.

As we move into discussing the production and development of this film, it’s important to note how these themes were brought to life on screen through stunning visuals and masterful storytelling.

Production and Development

When I reflect on the production and development of ‘What Dreams May Come,’ three key points come to mind:

  • Film adaptation was crucial for staying true to the source material while making necessary changes for the medium of film.

  • The casting choices were crucial in bringing this story to life, with Robin Williams delivering a powerful performance as protagonist Chris Nielsen.

  • Finally, the visual effects utilized in this movie were groundbreaking at the time and helped create a stunning depiction of the afterlife.

All of these elements came together to make ‘What Dreams May Come’ a unique and unforgettable cinematic experience.

Film Adaptation

The film adaptation of What Dreams May Come is a stunning portrayal of the afterlife that will leave you breathless. The filmmakers faced several challenges in adapting the novel into a movie, including how to visually depict the imaginative and surreal elements of heaven and hell. To overcome these obstacles, they took creative liberties with the story, adding new plot points and characters while still staying true to the overall themes.

To better understand how the film differs from the book, let’s take a look at this table:

Element Book Movie
Afterlife setting Diverse landscapes based on personal beliefs Heaven as painted by Annie’s memories
Main antagonist Albert, Chris’s guide Chris’ own guilt and grief
Ending Ambiguous but hopeful Clear resolution for all characters

Despite these changes, the film adaptation captures the essence of Richard Matheson’s original work. It explores complex philosophical questions about death and afterlife through breathtaking visuals and powerful performances by Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra. In my opinion, this cinematic masterpiece is one of those rare instances where a movie surpasses its source material.

Moving onto casting…


With a cast that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood royalty, it’s no surprise that the film adaptation of What Dreams May Come is an acting powerhouse. When discussing possible casting choices for this movie, Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. are often the first names to come up due to their memorable performances in the lead roles. However, there were other actors considered for these parts such as Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner.

Additionally, it was important to find talented actors for the supporting roles to help bring the story to life. Annabella Sciorra played Chris’s wife Annie while Max von Sydow portrayed The Tracker. Both actors brought depth and nuance to their characters, adding another layer of emotional impact to an already moving story.

Overall, each actor chosen for this film was carefully selected based on their ability to embody complex characters and deliver powerful performances that would resonate with audiences long after leaving the theater.

As impressive as the cast may be, What Dreams May Come also relied heavily on its visual effects team to create a stunning backdrop for its emotional storyline.

Visual Effects

Get ready to be blown away by the mind-bending and awe-inspiring visual effects in this cinematic masterpiece. ‘What Dreams May Come’ is a film that showcases some of the most advanced techniques in visual effects, creating an immersive experience for its viewers. The combination of practical effects and CGI creates a world that feels both fantastical and realistic at the same time.

In terms of impact on storytelling, the use of visual effects adds another layer to the already emotionally charged story. From the vibrant colors of heaven to the desolate landscapes of hell, every shot is meticulously crafted to enhance the emotions conveyed through each scene. The historical context surrounding advancements in technology also plays a significant role in how these visual effects were executed. Compared to other films released around the same period, ‘What Dreams May Come’ stands out as a landmark achievement in visual storytelling.

As we move onto discussing the cast and performances, it’s important to note how integral these visual effects were in bringing their characters and emotions to life.

The Cast and Performances

You’ll love the cast and their performances in What Dreams May Come. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, which adds to the emotional resonance of the film. Each actor delivers a standout performance that brings their character’s development to life on screen.

The cast chemistry is evident from the opening scene, where we see Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. playfully bantering back and forth as brothers. This sets up their relationship for later in the film when they are reunited in the afterlife.

Standout performances include Annabella Sciorra’s portrayal of Annie, a grieving mother who must come to terms with her own death and that of her children. Her emotional journey throughout the film is heartbreaking yet cathartic.

Character development is expertly handled by director Vincent Ward, who uses visual storytelling techniques to show us each character’s transformation over time. From Chris’ initial skepticism about an afterlife to his eventual acceptance and understanding, we see his growth through both dialogue and imagery.

As you can see, the cast’s performances are integral to making What Dreams May Come such a powerful film. Their dynamic relationships, nuanced character portrayals, and emotive storytelling keep viewers engaged from start to finish. With this foundation laid out so skillfully by Ward and his team, it’s no wonder that audiences were moved by this cinematic masterpiece.

Moving on to reception and critical response…

Reception and Critical Response

Looking at the reception and critical response to ‘What Dreams May Come,’ three key areas stand out:

Box office performance: The film made just over $87 million worldwide against a budget of $85 million. While it didn’t break any records, it did manage to turn a profit.

Awards and nominations: The film garnered several nominations for its visual effects work, winning an Academy Award in that category.

Fan and critic reviews: Finally, the movie received mixed reviews from both fans and critics alike, with some praising its ambition while others criticized its tonal inconsistencies.

Box Office Performance

If you’re curious about how well What Dreams May Come did at the box office, buckle up because it was like a rollercoaster ride – one minute soaring high and the next plummeting down.

The movie, which had a budget of $85 million, opened with a modest weekend gross of $9.6 million in September 1998. However, it managed to climb its way up to become the fifth highest-grossing film globally that year with an impressive worldwide total of $155 million.

Despite its box office success, some critics argue that the marketing strategy for the film was not executed properly. According to them, audiences were misled by trailers that portrayed What Dreams May Come as a romantic drama instead of what it really was a philosophical exploration into life after death.

This disconnect may have affected its opening weekend numbers but word-of-mouth promotion helped boost ticket sales in subsequent weeks. In any case, it’s clear that the film resonated with audiences around the world and left a lasting impression on those who watched it.

As for awards and nominations…

Awards and Nominations

What Dreams May Come garnered critical acclaim and was nominated for three Academy Awards. However, despite being a box office disappointment, the film received recognition for its stunning visual effects, which earned it an Oscar win. Some critics felt that the nominations were controversial and accused the Academy of snubbing more deserving films.

In addition to its Oscar wins, What Dreams May Come also picked up two Golden Globe awards for Best Original Score and Best Supporting Actress. The film’s portrayal of death and the afterlife received mixed reviews from both audiences and critics alike. While some praised its emotional depth and thought-provoking themes, others criticized it for being too heavy-handed and melodramatic.

Nevertheless, the film remains a cult favorite among fans of director Vincent Ward’s work.

Fan and Critic Reviews

Fans and critics have differing opinions on the emotional impact and execution of ‘What Dreams May Come.’ Some fans rave about its stunning visuals and heartfelt story, while others criticize it for being too sentimental or heavy-handed.

Critics also seem divided, with some praising its imaginative world-building and poignant themes, while others dismiss it as clichéd or melodramatic.

Despite these mixed reviews, ‘What Dreams May Come’ has undeniably made a lasting impact on pop culture. Its unique depiction of the afterlife and exploration of grief have inspired countless works in film, TV, literature, and art. The film’s bold use of color and visual effects have also influenced many filmmakers since its release.

While it may not be a perfect movie, ‘What Dreams May Come’ is certainly one that continues to resonate with audiences today. With its legacy secured as a seminal work in popular culture, it is clear that ‘What Dreams May Come’ will continue to inspire generations to come.

As we explore the film’s impact on society at large in the next section, we can see how this powerful piece of cinema has touched countless lives over the years. Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying the profound effect that this movie has had on our collective imagination and cultural consciousness.

The Film’s Impact

You’ll feel the emotional impact of ‘What Dreams May Come’ long after watching it. This movie has left a profound impact on audiences and has become culturally significant over time.

Here are four reasons why:

  • The film’s exploration of death and the afterlife is thought-provoking and emotionally powerful. It challenges our beliefs about what happens to us when we die, and encourages us to think deeply about our own mortality.

  • The visual effects in this movie are stunningly beautiful, creating a vivid and immersive world that draws you in from the very beginning.

  • The performances by Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Max von Sydow are all top-notch, bringing depth and nuance to their characters.

  • The movie’s message about love, forgiveness, and redemption is timeless. It shows how even in the face of great tragedy and loss, hope can be found through the power of love.

Overall, ‘What Dreams May Come’ is a cinematic experience that stays with you long after the credits roll. Its impact on audiences cannot be underestimated, as it continues to inspire viewers today just as much as it did upon its release.

As we move into an analysis of key scenes from this film, it’s important to note how impactful these moments can be for viewers. Through exploring these scenes in depth, we can gain even greater insights into the themes and messages that make ‘What Dreams May Come’ such an unforgettable film.

Analysis of Key Scenes

Get ready to dive deeper into the emotional impact of ‘What Dreams May Come’ as we analyze some key scenes from this cinematic masterpiece.

One of the most striking moments in the film is when Chris (played by Robin Williams) arrives in Heaven and sees his daughter, who died in a car accident. The use of color and symbolism in this scene is incredibly powerful. The bright, vibrant colors of Heaven are juxtaposed with the dark, dreary tones of Hell, where Chris’s wife Annabel has ended up after committing suicide.

As Chris interacts with his daughter, we see her transform from a young girl into a woman – a visual representation of how time works differently in the afterlife. This scene is emotionally impactful because it captures both Chris’s joy at being reunited with his daughter and his sadness at realizing how much he has missed during his time on Earth.

Symbolic imagery like this is prevalent throughout ‘What Dreams May Come’, adding depth and meaning to every moment on screen.

The use of symbolic imagery and emotional impact in ‘What Dreams May Come’ makes it a true cinematic masterpiece. As we continue to explore the symbolism and imagery used throughout the film, we’ll gain an even deeper understanding of its themes and messages.

Symbolism and Imagery

Analyzing the key scenes of "What Dreams May Come"has given us a glimpse into the deeper meanings behind its visuals and characters. However, there is still much to explore in terms of symbolism and imagery. Interpreting symbols and imagery in dreams can give us insight into our unconscious mind, which is why it’s essential to examine them closely.

In the movie, we see various symbolic images that represent different themes and emotions. For example, the red tree symbolizes Annie’s pain and grief after losing her children, while the vibrant colors of Heaven represent Chris’ newfound sense of peace and happiness. Exploring unconscious themes in the movie allows us to understand how they shape our thoughts and behaviors even if we are not aware of them consciously.

Symbol Meaning Scene(s) Importance
Red Tree Annie’s Grief Opening scene where Annie paints it Represents Annie’s emotional state throughout the movie
Butterflies Transformation In Heaven when Chris transforms from a child to an adult Represents Chris’ growth as a person
Mist/Fog Confusion/Disorientation When Chris first arrives in Hell Shows how lost he is at that moment
River Styx Transition between Life & Death When Chris crosses it on his journey through Hell Symbolizes Chris’ transition from life to death

Examining these symbols allows us to gain a better understanding of what the characters are going through emotionally. The use of symbolism gives depth and complexity to the film, making it more than just a story about life after death. As we delve deeper into these symbols, we uncover hidden meanings that add richness to our viewing experience.

As we explore further into "What Dreams May Come,"one aspect that cannot be overlooked is its soundtrack and music.

Soundtrack and Music

As I reflect on the movie What Dreams May Come, one aspect that stands out to me is its soundtrack and music.

The hauntingly beautiful score adds depth to the emotional themes of love, loss, and the afterlife portrayed in the film. In my opinion, this element alone contributes to why What Dreams May Come has stood the test of time as a classic in its genre.

For fans who appreciate movies with powerful musical accompaniment, I highly recommend giving this movie a watch.

Personal Reflections

You’ll find yourself relating to the characters on a personal level, as they navigate through the complexities of love, loss, and the afterlife in ‘What Dreams May Come.’ The movie explores themes of personal growth and emotional impact that are universal and relatable to anyone who has experienced loss or struggled with their own demons.

As I watched this film, I found myself drawn into the narrative and invested in the characters’ journeys. The emotional impact of this movie is undeniable. It tugs at your heartstrings and leaves you feeling both uplifted and introspective.

Through its powerful storytelling, ‘What Dreams May Come’ reminds us that there is hope even in the darkest moments of our lives. This is why it has become a classic – because it speaks to something deep within us all, something that we yearn for but often struggle to put into words.

Why What Dreams May Come is a Classic

What makes ‘What Dreams May Come’ a timeless classic is its ability to touch the deepest parts of our souls, leaving us feeling both heartbroken and inspired at the same time.

This movie explores the significance of the afterlife in ways that are both imaginative and profound. The emotional depth portrayed by Robin Williams, who plays Chris Nielsen, as he navigates through heaven and hell to save his wife’s soul is captivating.

The stunning visuals used in this film add another layer of depth to its storytelling. From the brilliant depiction of heaven as an otherworldly landscape to the dark and twisted version of hell, each scene evokes powerful emotions that leave a lasting impression on viewers. The music score adds yet another dimension to this masterpiece, seamlessly blending with each scene’s mood.

As we delve deeper into this thought-provoking film, it becomes clear why it has become a classic in its genre. Its unique exploration of life after death coupled with its emotional depth creates a cinematic experience like no other.

For fans of this genre looking for similar movies that explore similar themes, I recommend exploring films such as ‘The Lovely Bones’ or ‘Ghost.’

Recommendations for Fans of the Genre

It’s no secret that What Dreams May Come is a classic in its genre. From the stunning visuals to the touching story, it has captivated audiences for decades. But what if you’re one of those viewers who just can’t get enough?

You’ve watched and re-watched this movie countless times, and now you’re left wondering where to turn next. Fear not, fellow fan! As someone who also holds this film dear to my heart, I have a few recommendations for similar movies that might scratch that same itch.

While nothing quite compares to the magic of What Dreams May Come, there are definitely some films out there that come close. One of my personal favorites is The Lovely Bones – another emotional journey through life after death with poignant themes about love and loss. Another great option is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – while it may not deal explicitly with the afterlife, it shares a similar surreal quality and explores deep existential questions about human relationships.

Whatever your preference may be, these movies are sure to provide some favorite moments and a chance for further exploration into this fascinating genre.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning behind the title ‘What Dreams May Come’?

Exploring the symbolism of "what dreams may come,"I understand it as a metaphor for exploring the afterlife and the potential of our imagination. It invites us to consider what possibilities await beyond this physical world.

What is the significance of the location where the film takes place?

The location in What Dreams May Come holds symbolic significance as a visual representation of the protagonist’s journey through the afterlife. It reflects his emotional state and serves as a metaphor for his personal growth.

Did the film receive any awards or nominations?

The film "What Dreams May Come"received an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and was also nominated for Best Art Direction. These accolades are a testament to the stunning visuals and attention to detail in this emotional masterpiece.

Was the film based on a book or other source material?

The film adaptation of "What Dreams May Come"was based on a novel by Richard Matheson. The source material provided a foundation for the filmmakers to explore themes of love, loss, and the afterlife in a visual medium.

How did the special effects in the film contribute to its overall impact?

Exploring the visuals of special effects in a film can greatly impact its overall emotional resonance. When executed well, these effects enhance the story and immerse the audience, creating a powerful cinematic experience that resonates long after the credits roll.


In conclusion, What Dreams May Come is a visually stunning and emotionally powerful film that explores themes of love, loss, and the afterlife. The performances by Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra are both heart-wrenching and captivating. The production design and special effects create a breathtaking world beyond our own.

The film’s use of symbolism and imagery adds depth to its already poignant story, making it a true work of art. Overall, What Dreams May Come has left an indelible mark on cinema history with its unique exploration of life after death. This movie is truly a masterpiece that will leave you in awe long after the credits have rolled. It’s a must-watch for anyone who wants to experience an emotional journey unlike any other in cinema history.

About the author

Latest posts

  • How To Experience Vivid Dreams

    How To Experience Vivid Dreams

    Ever wondered what it would be like to dive into a world where the laws of reality are suspended, and the limits of your imagination are pushed to the extreme? Imagine experiencing vivid dreams that transport you to a realm where anything is possible. Well, dream no more! In this article, I will guide you…

    Read more

  • Why Am I Having Vivid Dreams While Pregnant

    Why Am I Having Vivid Dreams While Pregnant

    Oh, the joys of pregnancy! From the swollen feet to the endless cravings, it’s a magical time filled with wonder and excitement. But there’s one aspect of pregnancy that often catches expectant mothers off guard: vivid dreams. Yes, those nighttime adventures that leave you questioning your sanity and waking up in a cold sweat. But…

    Read more

  • What Does It Mean To Have Realistic Vivid Dreams

    What Does It Mean To Have Realistic Vivid Dreams

    Close your eyes and imagine a world where your wildest fantasies come to life. Where you can fly through the skies, converse with long-lost loved ones, or even shape-shift into a mythical creature. This is the realm of realistic vivid dreams, where the boundaries of reality blur and the subconscious takes center stage. As I…

    Read more