What Dreams May Come 1998 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(1,172) IMDb 7/10
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After Chris Nielsen (Williams) dies in an accident, he tries to remain close to his beautiful mortal wife, Annie (Annabella Sciorra). With the friendly spirit (Gooding, Jr.) assigned to guide him, he begins to adapt to his new state of being in a setting that can only be described as heavenly. But when his distraught wife takes her own life, she is banished to an eternal damnation. Chris vows to find her so they can share eternity together, but no one has ever succeeded in rescuing a soul from such a horrific fate. With the help of his heavenly friends, Chris sets out on the most perilous and harrowing journey of his life, or afterlife: a quest for everlasting love that will take him to hell and back!

Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr.
1 hour 54 minutes

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What Dreams May Come

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Drama, Romance
Director Vincent Ward
Starring Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Supporting actors Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow, Jessica Brooks Grant, Josh Paddock, Rosalind Chao, Lucinda Jenney, Maggie McCarthy, Wilma Bonet, Matt Salinger, Carin Sprague, June Carryl, Paul P. Card IV, Werner Herzog, Clara Thomas, Benjamin Brock, Joe Bartnick, Cabran E. Chamberlain, James Cotner
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Very good movie and great visuals too.
Laura L. Wyatt
It deals with life and death, true love, the afterlife, and the true power that a loving family has.
Axl Rose
It makes you think of what heaven and hell REALLY is like and what will happen to you when you die.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

207 of 226 people found the following review helpful By D. Litton on February 12, 2001
Format: DVD
There is such a profound sense of drama, magic and emotion behind the story in "What Dreams May Come," a film based on the novel by Richard Matheson. There is a strong story with which anyone who loves someone else can identify, as well as an austentatious and elegant scope of visual and auditory imagery that jumps right for your eyes onscreen. Matheson's visions of heaven and hell are magnificently realized here, as well as the love between two people that is unbreakable, even after death.
The movie begins with the chance meeting of two American tourists traveling in Switzerland. Soon after, Chris and Annie become inseperable, and after their wedding, they bear two children. Many years later, Ian and Marie are killed in a car collision, leaving their parents distraught yet overcoming. Another couple of years later, Chris dies in a car accident as well, on his way to celebrate the "Double D" anniversary of his wife's emotional recovery from their childrens' deaths. This begins his trip into heaven, which is rocky at first during his attempts to console his living wife, then graduating into his acceptance of his immortality and ascemding into heaven, which turns out to be the creation of his own thoughts and settings. When he realizes that he is not completely happy without Annie, he becomes depressed, so it is no surprise that when Annie commits suicide and is sent to hell, he readies himself to rescue his wife from her emotional confines that keep her in her prison of eternal darkness.
The story for this movie is very ambitious, as are the filmmakers who bring it to life. There is an abundance of vivid memories in the form of flashbacks, many of which are precisely used to move the plot along and keep the story moving.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Carroll on March 22, 2005
Format: DVD
When I first saw this film in 1998, I was horrified because it was so different from the novel I had just read. I wanted to see a film more faithful to the novel and the beauty and awe I felt when I read it. This is not that movie.

I decided to watch this film again on its own merits. I haven't read the novel for years, so I'm able to see this film with fresh eyes, and judge it on its own merits. Its not the novel, and maybe someday there will be a film that is a closer representation of the novel, but this film presents the director's vision and still provides excellent insights into the afterlife. For that, its worth watching and owning.

This film is visually stunning as they recreated a world as one might expect if a person lived in a painting, or a place that resembled a painting. Having seen some actual works by Renoir, I know the feeling of being transported into another realm on the basis of a painting. This film does it perfectly. The symbology and recurring patterns (sailboats, for example) work exceptionally well.

The biggest changes made from the novel is that this film is about a family's connection in life and the afterlife, and the focus is on the relationships between husband and wife, father and son, and father and daughter. Robin Williams plays Chris Nielson, who meets his soulmate in Italy, and they marry and have two children, who die in a tragic car accident. The wife, played by the exceptional Annabella Sciorra, is institutionalized after the tragedy, and does get better...until her husband also dies in a freak accident. He finds himself in heaven and she's left to grieve alone, which is a burden too heavy for her to overcome.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Flo on October 30, 2003
Format: DVD
The acting in this film is wonderful. The story line was heart felt and thought provoking. Robin Williams is at his best. I have shared this movie with many of my friends. It brings about questions of faith but most of all it gives us hope about our live here on earth and after. No matter what your religion or whether you have a religion at all, it provides dreams.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Sara Johnson on June 12, 2001
Format: DVD
This movie is interesting because it tries to approach the idea of human mortality from an all-encompassing philosophical system by drawing on several different philsophical and theological ideas simultaneously so that no one religion or belief system is emphasized moreso than the other. By using this approach, the movie attempts to examine and communicate the raw truths of life and death. The film also communicates to its audience in raw emotion through the use of archetypical characters with often melodramatic performances that succeed even though they shouldn't. The images of Hell are obviously inspired by Dante's "Inferno". Though the Hell visuals are impressive, they by no means capture the hopelessness and despair of Hell. What's most impressive is the director's attempt at visually capturing on film an idea of Heaven. The attempt alone deserves merit and this is where the film's visuals succeed the most. On DVD, the colors are rich and bright and serve as a good reference disc to check to see if your TV is calibrated properly. There are generous extras and the audio mix is about average. After several repeated viewings, I have come to like this film more and more.
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