As I Lay Dying

2013

Action / Drama

108
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 41%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 37%
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 3216

Synopsis


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January 19, 2014 at 02:06 PM

Director

Cast

James Franco as Darl Bundren
Danny McBride as Vernon Tull
720p 1080p
809.77 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 2 / 5
1.64 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 6 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by eddie_baggins 6 / 10

An interesting take on a strange tale

James Franco has seemingly set out to be the busiest man in Hollywood. Franco unfulfilled by just acting in recent times has taken on art, writing and adapting so called un-filmable novels with the forthcoming McCarthy adaptation Child of God premiering recently and this faithful and very intriguing adaptation of William Faulkner's revered 1930 book As I Lay Dying which had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

It's clear that Franco filmed this atmospheric tale on a limited budget yet was able to recruit some serious acting talent to join him on screen as the Bundren family. Stand outs in the acting stakes are Tim Blake Nelson as toothless family head Anse and Marshall-Green as half cast and grizzled Jewel. All cast members acquit themselves well to difficult material, even Franco's real life buddy and funny man Danny McBride does well in a small cameo like roll. Franco's fine direction of fellow actors is commendable but his artistic decision not so much.

A strange choice by Franco is to put screen juxtaposition in a two frame format for roughly half of the films running time. This two pane structure comes off as merely annoying and takes away from the full screen beauty of much of the films images and natural landscape which are wonderfully captured by cinematographer Christina Voros. This technique was employed from an outsiders knowledge to portray the novels various voices and themes yet really is in no way integral to the films telling and as a finished product seems a tad on the pretentious side of things.

If you can overcome As I Lay Dying's almost tortuous opening 30 minutes where I found myself more than tempted to stop the film in its tracks there is much to admire in the film and by the last 20 minutes you will find yourself enthralled in this strange and depressing tale of a family lost in more ways than one. As I Lay Dying gives one hope that Franco will do justice to Child of God and perhaps one day his dream project of Blood Meridian.

3 concrete casts out of 5

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Reviewed by Josh Beechey 8 / 10

Pretty darn good!

As I Lay Dying is as challenging to watch as it is to read. But that's what's so good about it! James Franco's choice to adapt Faulkner was very ambitious, but it definitely paid off. The use of split screen was very effective at times and many of the full screen shots were beautifully done. The acting was all top notch, Tim Blake Nelson as Anse was my particular favourite, being exactly as he was in my imagination after reading the book. Franco has successfully pulled off many stylistic techniques to create a movie as un- conventional as the book is. Although I believe it works really well as a movie, I would not recommend it to someone who has not read the novel. Being a big fan of Cormac McCarthy, I look forward to seeing how Franco has adapted 'Child of God' in hope that it is as good as this. Overall, this is a very good movie that stays true to the novel.

Reviewed by RJR99SS 10 / 10

Excellent adaptation.

I was almost shocked when i heard that they would be making a movie out of my favorite book, and the fact that James Franco and Danny McBride would be in it did not leave me with a good feeling. I was blown away, however, at what a great adaptation it is.

In fact, i'm not sure i'd even call it an adaptation. It IS the book. I cant think of any other movie that was truer to the source material. Obviously the book is much more long winded, and is filled with long, and often puzzling monologues from all the main characters. It's more dream like, and ponderous. But i cant think of anything that the movie left out, or missed, or put it's particular "spin" on, it was all dead on.

That said, the book is a difficult read. The movie is equally difficult. You could read the entire book, and have little idea what it's about. Similarly, you could easily watch this entire movie and be completely puzzled by it. There's a lot of important plot points that gets covered, and you barely even have time to realize exactly what it is the characters are saying. Once again though, the book is the same. Questions like: why is Varadamin's mom a fish? Why is Jewel's mom a horse? Why doesn't Darl have a mom? These are sort of answered, just like in the book, but they also seem completely absurd to even ask. It's a story more about the people involved in it, and not so much about the events that take place, or even the truthfulness of anything or anyone.

I would imagine most viewers will struggle to even understand what it is that the characters are saying, as they all have thick southern accents, Anse being almost unintelligible. Adding to the confusing is the fact that most everything they say is highly complex, poetry like prose that doesn't particularly care if you're following closely or not, they're still going to say it. Once again, pretty much how the book is.

So it's a difficult to understand book, and it's a difficult to understand movie. I certainly loved it, but i suspect most viewers will hate it.

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