As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying

DVD - 2013 | Widescreen ed
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Comments (15)

Add a Comment
Oct 19, 2017

I dont care for Faulkner or James Franco, but this movie worked for me and i enjoyed it. I will admit the first 30 minutes is tough and the split screen was a more than bold choice that didnt win over anybody, just read these reviews.

Jul 07, 2017

Terrible bastardization of a great work of Faulkner. Cinematography was so bad it was almost unwatchable. Endless split-screen dialogue, Poor acting, and over emphasis on the hillbilly accent. Not recommended at any level. Read the novel instead.

Oct 11, 2016

hillbilly accent hard to understand, couldn't get the gist of what was going on, slow moving, turned it off not that far into the movie. YAWN

Feb 14, 2015

This film is definitely not for everyone; I'd mostly recommend this to the English lit majors. I have not read Faulkner's novel but this production seems to ring true to other works of his I have read. It is well acted and intense. I understand James Franco's use of the split screen, but it always puts me off as a viewer.

Oct 09, 2014

I don't leave comments on this site but this movie...I had to. Mainly because of the extreme differences in opinion in the reviews and how much good and bad in the film I noticed, I couldn't resist. I have not read a Faulkner book but I can tell by this film and what has been said about the book that inspired this film, that it is a great book indeed.

I have been on a Franco kick lately and I dig a lot of his work. With that said he is apparently still learning and there is nothing wrong with that.

Pluses, the actors do a fantastic job with the characters. Really believable. The only weak link is Franco, the other characters are played so well to me. The characters all have monologues that they perform when they break the 4th wall. These sequences are really believable and seem to act as some sort of exposition for the plot. The score fits the movie well too.

The negatives. The costume design and set design will remind you of a lifetime movie. the family are deep deep country yet all their clothes and skin are constantly so new and clean most of the time. Also the split screen technique is overdone and it is just bad. There is fantastic imagery like a man carrying a flaming coffin, ruined by split screen. Or a great part where a cement cast is removed from someones leg, ruined by split screen. Lastly there is a scene with a catfish that you can still see the price tag on the bottom of it and its in slo mo so you wont miss it and there is a mic boom that makes it into a scene around 23:36. i am not a film snob and I like everything from the terrible to the obscure to the mainstream. however there were too many flaws in the direction of this film to make it any fun for me to watch. Worth a watch if you like to study film and have time on your hands. if not there are way better films at the library to pick up. cheers

aaa5756 Aug 06, 2014

Just plain awful this movie was a train wreck. To say this movie was bad. It’s an understatement it was torture to watch. In also in other words, it was a dumb movie.

Jul 16, 2014

I have never read Faulkner, but this film is a tour-de force. This American study of the human condition transcends Dickens, James Joyce, and several European classic writers. If your preferred genere of film is limited to car chases/crashes, uber violence, nudity....well, take a pass on this gem.

This is a thinking mans film. The split screen technique only enhances the story, and draws in the open minded viewer to the deeper story here. This is a bold and intriguing film that Hollywood simply doesn't have the balls to promote or nurture. Sad.

I salute an established actor like Franco who delivered a quasi-masterpiece to the viewing public. I would urge you all to at least give this film a viewing and give your input on this forum. Thank you!

voisjoe1 Jul 01, 2014

I have not had the opportunity to read any of William Faulkner’s literature. This film, based on a 1920’s southern (Mississippi) William Faulkner novel (As I Lay Dying) about a poor and uneducated (white) family, gave me an idea of the kinds of characters that populate Faulkner’s landscape. One of Faulkner’s themes seems to be that we are all two faced. We have an outer self when relating to others, but we have an inner self where we store and suffer from our dirty little secrets. Another theme is that destitute rural Mississippians seem to have a belief that God has things planned so there is not much use in trying to use knowledge and logic when making decisions about how to proceed on the path of life. This is not a pleasant story, but more Americans might come to the conclusion that improved education and opportunity might make this a better country.

multcolib_susannel Jun 07, 2014

Difficult? Confusing? Hard to understand? Yes! But so is the book. Faulkner is not an easy read.
BUT totally worth it for Tim Blake Nelson's portrayal of the father.
Its excellent!

Apr 27, 2014

With the screenplay and direction by James Franco who also plays Darl,this is a spectacular film. It’s been so many years since I read the Faulkner novel, that I’m not in any position to adequately comment on the translation to screen. But what Franco has realized is one of the finest recreations of what I recall as Faulkner’s milieu of poor, illiterate white Southerners as I’ve ever encountered in a film. The ensemble cast is superb, especially Tim Blake Nelson who plays the father Anse. But each of the other characters are equally good, even down to the young child who plays Vardamon. What I do recall of the novel was the long journey with the mother’s coffin, the hot weather resulting in an ever increasing stench, and with the entire experience pictured through the eyes of each character. While it would be impossible to recreate all the numerous voices that Faulkner articulated in the novel, Franco does a marvelous job of creating a sense of multiple characters and perspectives through a judicious use of the split screen technique where scenes are shown from two different vantage points along with occasional monologue voiceovers. From interviews included on the DVD, in generating the screenplay, Franco paid very close attention to the original novel, with both his cast and crew keeping the book at close hand throughout the filming to ensure that each of them never lost sight of the world and the characters that Faulkner had created.

lasertravis Feb 02, 2014

Overlong, boring period piece drama. Well acted by some of the cast, and the movie LOOKS authentic, but this movie drags and drones and limps its way to a "what?" sort of ending. I'm supposing this scores well with the art film crowd. Not me.

akirstan Jan 20, 2014

Very intense subject matter as it is a period piece, this family and group of people are ruled by much of what is said and what is suppressed within them and their relationships. So much of the pecking order of who they were in society, as well as their rank in the family, causes them to emote as if in strait-jackets tied up with invisible words and strings. Franco captures the essence of this turmoil bubbling. Dying and Death, especially when you experience it nearby, is an uncapturable finality...each character is alive with this intangible reckoning, because when a person dies so do the outlet for the emotion expressed by that person for the dying. Will memory be enough? Its tough to watch yourself or others go through this reality, this is what this movie presents about people from that period. This is not an easy film. Certain generations will not get it, or its subtleties. Great work.

Jan 01, 2014

This was WAY above me. I read the book years ago and this film was still confusing to me. Darl, Cash and Jewel were as I pictured them but the open mouthed Anse, "Saving a nickel he'r and thar", drove me bonkers! Some of it I got but not a movie I'd recommend. I did like the split screen and the ending though so.....1/2 a star.

brontelit87 Dec 15, 2013

I've never been much of a fan of William Faulkner, but this movie has really gotten me interested in reading the book, _As I Lay Dying_. This is actually a good movie. The story is a little slow moving, but that's the nature of Faulkner's work. However, the actors are all very well cast. The characters are very interesting. This is a very depressing, disturbing, and grotesque story. There's a horrific scene near the conclusion of the film, which is quite jarring.

The features are nothing special, but all of the main actors are interviewed. The only thing I take issue with is everyone going on and on about Franco. There's no doubt about it that Franco and his co-writer did a fairly good job with this movie. I never lost interest in it, but I don't think that Franco should have been singled out on the cover of the DVD. The movie owed everything to all of the actors, Franco included.


Dec 14, 2013

Mixed reviews out there on this one, but I found this adaptation of Faulkner's novel from James Franco subdued, disturbing, and very absorbing at times. Other than the father/husband, "Anse", sometimes incoherently but effectively portrayed by Tim Blake Nelson, the family's mostly indifferent way of dealing with the matriarch's death was quite curious to me. Grey souls living unimaginably difficult lives consisting of back-breaking labor and spirit-crushing poverty. Franco's treatment of one shot of the silent, reflective, broken family on their wagon after some god-awful, horrific experiences spoke volumes; and a very amusing surprise with the old man was a welcomed comic touch.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

To Top