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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 (103 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Danny McBride
  • Directors: James Franco
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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 (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,297 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
30 of 32 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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7 of 7 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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9 of 10 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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9 of 10 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
As this film demonstrates, Faulkner's books that utilize shifting points of view/interior monologues are not easy, most likely impossible, to fully translate into screen format. The biggest dilemma is that those who have read the novel or are at least familiar with Faulkner-in-general are bound to be a little dissatisfied while most non-Faulknerites will probably raise eyebrows and ask "Huh?"

Nevertheless, the makers of this film did about the best job possible of condensing AS I LAY DYING into such a short length. It's expertly filmed, and the personalities of the individual family members come out very well. Specific nuances and key quotes are also effectively captured. Though this AILD may not come close to doing justice to the book, it's still helpful in elucidating Faulkner's novel and should be especially valuable for those teaching it to show to their classes. Yes, it is VERY dark and depressing, but I don't see how you can make the story of a poor 1920s Mississippi farm family transporting their deceased mother 40 miles for burial by rickety wagon anything otherwise. The grosser aspects are not emphasized any more than they have to be, and the vivid cinematography and Faulknerianingly maudlin bits of comic relief help make it palatable.

As one who's always found Faulkner's work rewarding though seldom much fun to read, I must say that I really enjoyed this film and that it made me eager to reread AILD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One man's opinion in an amazing variety of reviews January 3, 2014
I can understand the variety of ratings from 1 to 5 stars because the movie had to deal with a really odd book and it takes a somewhat odd movie to recreate the book.

I have read only 3 or 4 of Faulkner's novels but I liked As I Lay Dying the most. It was such an interesting experience (with such an interesting ending) that as soon as I finished, I immediately started rereading it, feeling that I had finally achieved enough of an insight to enjoy it again from the beginning. The reread was much better than the original reading.

The novel was a bit difficult and I found Franco's movie to be the same. And just like the book, I want to experience it again. I have been a fan of Tim Blake Nelson since Oh Brother Where Art Thou and I am even more of a fan now. He was outstanding in As I Lay Dying. Just watching him recreate the family patriarch is worth viewing the whole movie. Many of the other characters were excellent, but Nelson is a step above everyone else.

As I finish this review, I am planning to buy the DVD. Just renting it on demand was not enough.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 14 days ago by Jolene Frisbie
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece. And I don't use that word a lot
Nine Things about the Movie “As I Lay Dying” [USA, 2013]

1. I was in college the first time I read Faulkner’s mysterious, profound, stream-of-consciousness novel “As I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul Donovan
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money or ask for a Refund!!
Awful, hard to follow, not worth the time, turned it off after 30 minutes.
Published 1 month ago by dd3rover
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad But True to Life Movie!!!
Was a good film. Not particularly what I thought it would be, but was well done. Definitely worth the money!!!
Published 1 month ago by kay green
1.0 out of 5 stars As I Lay Dying
Couldn't make it through the first half hour. Screen shots of movie spit in half with different scenes on each side. Read more
Published 1 month ago by roseyv55
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but ,but not great either.
The split screen view about drove me crazy! The dialog was hard to understand sometimes. Not for everybody, but worth watching.
Published 1 month ago by Jay Kime
1.0 out of 5 stars english, please
Didn't finish the movie. Dialog was hard to grasp and understand. Characters were awful and disgusting to look at.
Returned it right away.
Published 2 months ago by Julia P. Graves
2.0 out of 5 stars Two screens too many
Not sure what Franco wanted to accomplish with having a split screen, but it was annoying. A well acted movie dos not need an "innovative" approach to the way it is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Tried to read the book.
Anything with James Franco is good. I never would have finished the book and I would have missed a good story. Lots of dark humor. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Depressing
I can see why some people think this is great, but I just didn't like it at all. I wasn't expecting it to be so depressing.
Published 2 months ago by Volcano Spirit
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