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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 (113 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 (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,474 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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11 of 12 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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8 of 8 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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected January 7, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm not going to waste everyone's time debating whether or not this film should have been made. It's been made.

First of all, this was so much better than I expected. On paper, some of the casting decisions look atrocious, but no one turns in a bad performance. Franco, as Darl, is (unsurprisingly) unable to explore Darl's mind the way Faulkner did in the original novel, and much of the "who" and the "why" of the character is left for the viewer to interpret. Of course, the novel itself relied heavily on the interpretation of the reader, so I'm not going to be too hard on Franco for that. As for the actors that looked terrible on paper...well, for me, they were Danny McBride as Vernon Tull and Logan Marshall-Green as Jewel. The latter, I have to say, BLEW ME AWAY. I can honestly say he stole the show for me. In the novel, my favorite character was always Darl, but Marshall-Green's performance had me focusing more on Jewel throughout the course of the film. Interestingly, Franco frames Jewel like a saint in some of the film's more beautiful camerawork, leading me to wonder whether the director saw Jewel as more of a protagonist than I did. Now, to McBride. What, you say? Danny McBride in a role like this? Favoritism on Franco's part, perhaps? These were the things I thought before seeing the film. Fortunately, it doesn't matter either way, because Vernon Tull's character is significantly downplayed in the film, and his wife Cora is cut out almost entirely. Still, McBride doesn't do anything he shouldn't, and while I still can't say I understand the casting, there isn't really enough for his character to do for me to judge his performance.
Also, Tim Blake Nelson. If you only see this film for one reason, let it be Tim Blake Nelson.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Game Effort
I have to give credit to Franco for his ambition but I'm not sure what he was trying to accomplish here. Read more
Published 8 days ago by James Ferguson
2.0 out of 5 stars As I lay watching, I was dying.
I couldn't finish the movie it was that slow. The acting is ok, but the movie has this split screen effect that made me dizzy.
Published 13 days ago by LBM
5.0 out of 5 stars you aint seen nuttin' yet 'til you see james franco's version of this...
a knock-it-out-of-the-park cinematic wonder. one of the most-realized films of a faulkner work to date. Read more
Published 21 days ago by tito shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the plunge.
The novel is a masterpiece . Lovers of great literature fully realize that. It is rich in philosophical insight as well as unique humor. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Gary L. Magruder
3.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
Not impressed
Published 1 month ago by Robert J. Brown Jr.
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible.
I loved the book. This was just awful.
Published 1 month ago by Brittany Land
5.0 out of 5 stars A good day's work
Excellent representation of a fairly difficult novel about some pretty rough people doing a hard thing. It's not surprising that many will not like this movie... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ryan McNabb
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
ummm... well.... Im sure you understand, without words. Come'on Franco, you've more talent than this.
Published 2 months ago by Justice Obstructed
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
not too good
Published 2 months ago by Fredrick
2.0 out of 5 stars Pale imitation
Much as I enjoy watching Jimmy Franco flex his artistic muscles, I respect Mr. Faulkner more. This film did not do the book justice. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. Tucker
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