As I Lay Dying - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

As I Lay Dying Reviews

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December 10, 2016
A 41% or 36% review rate is incredible low for this bleak little south state gem. James Franco does his job well, and deliveres a misanthropic masterpiece full of burlesque exaggerations that are both fresh and inovative. Especially is the extensive but efficient use of split screen emphasizing the communication barriers, which is what the film choose to elaborate on in this adaptation of a rather complex novel. I guess you are not supposed to adapt a W. Faulkner novel without being a dedicated arthaus director. Still I choose to give it an honest six stars, simply because it didn't cross my mind that I should get offended by someone being ambitious
August 5, 2016
An engaging and generally true-to-book adaptation. I'm not sure why the film has such incredibly low reviews, other than that its target audience has particularly high expectations, and would rather not see a classic novel portrayed by such a prominent celebrity. Obviously the film's budget was not on a Hollywood score--though its actors performed at a higher and more believable score than any Hollywood film I've seen in years. Compared to the book, which is already harrowing, the film turns up a notch on the violence, explicitly showing Dewey Dell's attack and even going so far changing injured Cash to amputated Cash. This I could have done without, and would have preferred Franco to keep a bit of the novel's subtlety and mystery.

What the film does well: capturing the mood and "gaze" of Faulkner. Each character's expressions and dialogue are given their own screentime, and the emotion in each comes through incredibly beautifully. Franco's portrait of Darl is sympathetic and true to form, as well as the emotional Jewel and straightforward Cash.

It's an imporessively acted, cast, and directed film overall. An ambitious project not to be taken lightly.
June 19, 2016
This movie made me want to take another shower. It was odd to say the least.
½ April 28, 2016
People who rated this film poorly, have not read the novel. This is not a film for people who like classic plot with basic cinematography. Truly captures the essence of the novel and would definitely recommend.
March 13, 2016
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)
½ December 3, 2015
Not sure yet if I liked it -- part of the movie were quite interesting, in the split screen effect, and how the story was told, but I have not read the book yet (working on it) to see the comparison.
½ May 14, 2015
Worst movie I've seen for a while.
April 24, 2015
Another shapeless flat-line of a film from Franco.
January 23, 2015
Too difficult to relate. All in all it's James Franco versus William Faulkner.
½ January 5, 2015
Premier film très audacieux de James Franco aussi bien dans la réalisation que dans le choix de l'histoire. Propre.
December 29, 2014
although the film is set in poor Mississippi, that doesn't justify the lack of coherent dialogue by the actors.Concept of the story is not all bad though.
November 7, 2014
Some straight up dog shit.Franco's worst movie ever and one of the worst movies ever.
½ October 22, 2014
It wasn't the acting that was bad, it wasn't the plot, but it was bad. As I watched this film, I kept on thinking, "why would anyone like this?" It was a horrible movie, and probably a horrible book too. It was so cold, so cynical and heartless... I tremble to think that people could really be like this. I hated it.
August 10, 2014
A very strange/difficult film....But, I've seen a lot worse than this one.
August 9, 2014
As I Lay Dying is a complex American classic novel. To film it would be quite a task and despite savage reviews I believe James Franco has been successful in his effort. The story of the Bundren family taking their mother to her ancestral home to be buried is filled with heartache, pathos and beauty. Using split screen and voice over Franco has been original in his direction and script. The acting is superb, especially Tim Blake Nelson, and the atmosphere evoked in the novel is put across with clarity in the film.
August 9, 2014
Great movie! James Franco is a amazing director and actor in this film. Almost as good as the book
August 2, 2014
Good cast of actors, but still a pretty boring movie.
July 31, 2014
I'm familiar with the classic, and I have yet to meet a movie that delivers true to the literary piece. The movie gets an A plus for the actors and setting though.
½ June 28, 2014
I really really struggled to get into this movie. I found the pace, pretty slow and I couldn't understand what the hell the characters were saying because of there Deep South accents. The only part of the plot that I could understand was the fact that the family was on a journey to bury there mother, but apart from that, I lost the plot. The performances seemed quite good, and the storyline, which is adapted from a book, seemed ok, but I just couldn't relate to it. In some ways, it's a road movie because of the families journey, but each character is pretty complex which is translated through narration which was even more complicating. Anyway, the families bad luck really does take its toil on the there journey which makes the movie, is you can follow it. Average!

James Franco has really shown that he has a deep side with the way that he directed this movie. After starring in so many comedies, this movie really does show that he doesn't want to be type casted as an actor and director. Personally, after watching Child Of God which was also directed by Franco, I have found it hard to get into his films because of the tempo and the concepts which he is drawn to. Tim Blake Nelson, who was great in O' Brother, Where Art Thou, was a good choice as the father in this movie because he naturally seems like he is from the Deep South which was needed for his role. I obviously wasn't the only person who struggled to find this movie interesting because of the box office takings, but after watching the extras on the dvd, Franco was pleased with the outcome and the cast were also pleased that he stayed true to the book.

Budget: N/A
Worldwide Gross: $17,000 (Terrible!)

I recommend this movie to people who are into there Deep South movies about a family with really bad luck, who travel to bury there mother. 3/10
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