As I Lay Dying (2013)
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as Anse Bundren
as Vernon Tull
as Dewey Dell
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Critic Reviews for As I Lay Dying
I don't pretend to have a clue how to adapt William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" for the screen, but unlike James Franco, I, at least, didn't try.
As a whole ... "As I Lay Dying" conveys some of Faulkner's themes, and the details of the Bundren family story, with clarity and concision.
It remains to be seen whether James Franco can live up to his outsized ambitions.
Like Franco's other directorial efforts, it ends up coming across as an academic art object, somewhere halfway between a graduate thesis and a video installation-interesting, but only in context.
Faulkner fans... need not be up in arms about this version of his Nobel Prize winner.
Audience Reviews for As I Lay Dying
Franco's adaptation of William Faulkner's complex novel only focused on delivering visualization that was done with an understanding, yet convoluting cinematography, while the cast tried their best to decently match the energy of the lines like any average adaptations of literature pieces at a similar level. Unlike Franco's previous attempt on a literature piece in "Howl", this doesn't justified its essential addition to the English Lit department. (B-) (Full review coming soon)
Only see this film if you've read the novel. It was a brave undertaking to attempt to adapt it, but this was surprisingly solid as an adaptation.
As their mother dies, a family journeys across the county to bury her. Dear James Franco, Stop. Thanks, Jim While adapting William Faulkner's multi-voiced and complexly written novel is no easy task, James Franco's film fails on almost every level. It seems like everybody who had an idea got their idea into the film, and the result is a mishmash shitfest. The split-screen, direct address of the camera, the shots of Tim Blake Nelson drooling all combine to prove that James Franco should never direct a film again. Let's just take the split-screens: I've almost never seen split-screens work (the one exception that immediately comes to mind is (500) Days of Summer), but the reason they don't work is they take a responsibility that should belong to the director and transfer that responsibility to the audience. Rather than choosing what to show you, Franco puts the onus on you to decide what to watch. Likewise the direct address shots and reaction shots are indicative of a filmmaker who can't tell his story visually. On the positive side, when I read the novel, I imagined Tim Blake Nelson and Logan Marshall-Green in these roles. The casting is perfect, and while the script isn't good, these actors make it seem better than it is. Overall, I hope James Franco goes back to just looking good in movies.
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