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As I Lay Dying (2013)

James Franco , Tim Blake Nelson , James Franco  |  R |  DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Danny McBride
  • Directors: James Franco
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: November 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,834 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Directed by Oscar-nominated James Franco from a screenplay by James Franco and Matt Rager, AS I LAY DYING is adapted from the 1930 classic American novel by William Faulkner. The story chronicles the Bundren family as they traverse the Mississippi countryside to bring the body of their deceased mother Addie to her hometown for burial. Addie's husband Anse and their children, Cash, Darl, Jewel, Dewey Dell, and the youngest one Vardaman, leave the farm on a carriage with her coffin - each affected by Addie's death in a profound and different way. Their road trip to Jefferson, some forty miles away, is disrupted by every antagonistic force of nature or man: flooded rivers, injury and accident, a raging barn fire, and not least of all -- each individual character s personal turmoil and inner commotion which at times threaten the fabric of the family more than any outside force.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Valiant attempt at clarifying an opaque book October 22, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
James Franco has made a valiant attempt at clarifying an opaque novel. However, there is a reason this story has not been adapted to film in the past: Faulkner's South belongs in print.

The movie tries a little too hard, over-utilizing split screen shots to convey the novel's multiple narrator roles. It made me feel like I was watching an olde-tymey version of 24. The extreme close-up monologues were intense and haunting, staying true to the Faulkner's voice, if not adding clarity to the storyline. The film is beautifully shot and well-acted, but felt as much like homework as my initial high school reading of this book (I enjoyed the re-read much more when I was all growsed up).

Overall, "As I Lay Dying" is a solid (if slightly off-the-mark) homage to a great literary work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good One. November 8, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Cinematography, actors, being a fan of period drama, camera lens work, story-telling are all reasons why I'd recommend this movie. If you're a fan of Faulkner literature or a serious laureate you might be inclined to see some more specific things that I'm leaving out but when talking about movies I'd highly recommend this on because in today's and yesteryear's film society this is a comparative gem which I thoroughly enjoyed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars suprisingly excellent November 6, 2013
By Kevin
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
in my opinion, this was a surprisingly excellent adaptation of the novel.

franco delivers the worst acting performance of the cast, but it certainly isn't a bad performance and the rest of the cast are excellent in their roles. the film uses some art house devices to capture the unique nature of the novel, which may be off-putting to some, but franco's directorial methods are not overly heavy-handed or obtuse.

truthfully, if you have not read as i lay dying (or have an interest in southern gothic/lit fiction) than this film is probably not for you. if you are "in" to this kind of literature and are intrigued by an art house interpretation of one of the greatest english language novels, then it is definitely worth the price of the rental.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised November 19, 2013
By jbiv771
Let me preface this review by stating that I have never read Faulkner's novel. I also am not the biggest James Franco fan. However, I do love classic novels and 127 Hours is a favorite of mine so it wasn't a stretch for me to give up two hours of my time to give the movie a chance. I imagine this movie will only attract fans who for the most part know what they are getting themselves into so keeping that in mind, this movie is not for everyone. If you are sitting around on a Saturday night and your wife says, "Ooh this looks interesting. I love James Franco," you are better off passing. If however you are of the "indie" film ilk and/or an avid reader of famous novels you should consider lending this movie your time. Franco does well as director of the film and the acting is top notch. The plot of the movie is just short of tragic and certainly not uplifting so don't expect any sunshine. All of Faulkner's characters are flawed and everyone in the film loses more than just their mother "Addie." The movie begins with the matriarch of the family passing and continues with the family embarking on an oddesy to bury her. The movie can be a little slow and overly artistic, but it is not enough to condemn Franco's direction. My only complaint is that Franco employs too many split-screen shots ala Danny Boyle (the director of 127 hours). All in all I enjoyed the film enough to recommend it to anyone willing to give it a shot.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
James Franco's As I Lay Dying inevitably differs from Faulkner's. In the novel, the Bundren home and farm lie on a hill, hard to reach, where Doc Peabody has to be hauled up by a rope. Cash limps from an earlier fall, but his leg at the end is not amputated. Jewel is a whole head taller than the others.

An important section in the novel, Darl being transported to Jackson by train, is left out of the film. Except for Anse's and perhaps Jewel's, the faces in the movie belong too much to our time and not the `twenties in Mississippi. Some of the clothing is too contemporary as well. In the film, Dewey Dell is too much a girl of our own day, more a woman, and much too beautiful. The landscape is too unvaried; the novel moves from Mississippi hill country toward (without actually entering into) the delta.

Such variations could be expanded. But they do not matter. If you want to read Faulkner, read him. Franco's movie is not a substitute for that nor does it mean to be. It is a work of translation. I think one has to see the film in and for itself, though I do not know how someone who has not read the novel might respond to it. In a sense, it is a work of the grandest plagiarism, since so much of the language is Faulkner's, shifted about, cut hugely, altered, and, at times, even changed, beginning as the novelist's language and then becoming Franco's. Toward the end of the movie, Darl speaks words that are found in the novel in Addie's monologue. But the film requires its own place and dress and faces. What I have just noted, and the differences could proliferate, does not matter because the movie is a different sort of experience, bound to a different sort of watchfulness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Super
I got the movie because I love Robert Faulkner and enjoy reading his books. Be careful, Faulkner is deep and hard for beginners to understand. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Robert N. Mathis
4.0 out of 5 stars As I lay Dying
This has to be one of the weirdest movies I seen James Franco in to date. Franco is good but it's a strange movie.
Published 13 days ago by lmmssav
3.0 out of 5 stars Craptastic Dad. Confusing book.
Confusing. One of the most confusing books in AP English class. Not really interested in the subject matter. The main character... completely hated him. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Vixx Buzz
1.0 out of 5 stars did'nt read the book, sorry we watched the movie
guess we are not Faulkner fans.... couldn't understand half of what they were saying. The split screen was annoying.
wasted a hour and some on this! Read more
Published 21 days ago by cj
1.0 out of 5 stars As I Lay Dying is a comedy???
The reason for my low rating is two fold. First, Franco has failed to realize the comic aspect of Faulkner's work. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Pierre Valjean
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT THAT GOOD!
Not great! Weird Camera shots hard to follow and slow! I would spend the money on a different movie up to you!
Published 27 days ago by Robert57
1.0 out of 5 stars Odd. Very odd
Odd, disturbing and I felt accosted after watching this dark film. But, i did think on this for several days after.
Published 1 month ago by Sonja
1.0 out of 5 stars boring
slow. I was hoping this would be better and more interesting but found it to be slow and difficult to keep my attention.
Published 1 month ago by Beth
4.0 out of 5 stars Consider the subject matter
This movie is amazing considering how odd Faulkner's writing of the book was. Franco manages a minor miracle in this movie.
Published 1 month ago by Robyn Shephard
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie version!
Follows the book very closely. Nice adaptation. Good for using in conjunction with the book. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.
Published 1 month ago by Tina Lynn Wheeler
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