As I Lay Dying (2013)

R   |    |  Drama

As I Lay Dying (2013) Poster

Based on the classic novel by William Faulkner, first published in 1930, "As I Lay Dying" is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her last wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.




  • James Franco in As I Lay Dying (2013)
  • Tim Blake Nelson in As I Lay Dying (2013)
  • Ahna O'Reilly in As I Lay Dying (2013)
  • James Franco at an event for As I Lay Dying (2013)
  • James Franco at an event for As I Lay Dying (2013)
  • Ahna O'Reilly at an event for As I Lay Dying (2013)

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8 January 2015 | SnoopyStyle
| directing choices
Addie Bundren (Beth Grant) is dying. Her son Darl (James Franco) takes his brother Jewel (Logan Marshall-Green) on a delivery. It's $3 after all despite Jewel's need to be by her side. Their wagon gets stuck while she dies. Her wish is to be buried in home town of Jefferson. The whole family struggles to bring her body to her final resting place.

There are great actors in this movie. Tim Blake Nelson and Logan are terrific. Beth Grant is also great. In general, everybody is doing good work. The question is how did James Franco do as a director. I am not impressed. The most obvious technique is the split screen. The best thing I can ascribed to the technique is that it hides his amateurish directing style. When Beth Grant screams, the other half is trained on Jim Parrack. That's the only split-screen scene that really works. The movie struggles to gain authenticity and the split screen doesn't help at all. It looks like a modern film school technique in direct conflict with the rural backwoods feel of the family. Franco should be striving for authentic poverty. He fails as he throws various things on the wall. None of it really sticks. The actors are able to keep the audience's interest but they do it despite Franco. The river crossing shows some promise that Franco is functional as a director. Maybe he's over thinking this and tries too hard with the split screen and the actors talking at the camera. Thankfully the last 15 minutes don't have the split screen. It's some of the most compelling scenes in the movie.

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