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148 Ratings

As I Lay Dying

Directed by James Franco
United States, 2013


Based on the 1930 classic by Faulkner, it is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family’s quest to honor her wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.

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As I Lay Dying Directed by James Franco
Franco’s As I Lay Dying is an earnest attempt to use the visual power of cinema to convey the pain and pathos of the Bundrens’ condition, and to gesture to the demanding nature of Faulkner’s story-telling style. While there are limitations to how deeply the film reflects the profoundly searching nature of Faulkner’s modernism, the making of it is no minor undertaking, and the final product is a commendable and provocative project.
November 13, 2013
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This is not the giggling irritant Franco of his Oscar-hosting and inept film criticism, but one with humility who (as he put it) wants to do right by Faulkner. The obvious downside to this careful avoidance of feather-ruffling is a drab adequacy that keeps the film from being more than serviceable.
October 11, 2013
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Sometimes one half [of the screen] shows a character’s face and the other that character’s point of view; at other moments, the split screen is used to show different takes of the same shot. The two halves don’t always cut at the same time, which means that a scene might keep going on the right side of the screen while the next one starts on the left. The effect… is fascinating. Whether it’s ultimately meaningful, however, is a different question.
October 10, 2013
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