A young woman awakens from a state of amnesia at a Manhattan hospital and looks curiously at the world around her as if after a long absence. Brushing aside her doctors and their battery of medical tests, she rushes outside into the streets to breathe the air and experience the city’s sights and sounds, dancing among strangers on the sidewalk, singing on the subway, and taking in the pinnacles of the skyline on a sun-drenched summer day.
In Wake Up, a new short film directed by Olivia Wilde debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the central character played by Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), stares deeply into the eyes of passersby, eager to make connections. But at every turn in her journey to rediscover who she is, she is met by indifferent strangers, glassy-eyed and riveted to their personal electronic devices. She’s dispirited to find herself in a world where screen time crowds out authentic social interaction.