'As I Lay Dying' is the story that 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 (Tim Blake Nelson) and their children, Cash (Jim Parrack), Dari (James Franco), and three of their siblings, leave the farm with her coffin - each affected in a profound and different way. Their road trip to Jefferson, forty miles away, is disrupted by every antagonistic force of nature or man: flooded rivers, injury and accident, and not least of all - each individual character's personal turmoil, which threaten the fabric of the family more than any outside force.
Mediocre version of Faulkner's classic American novel of rural poor
- As I Lay Dying review by PV
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You rated this film: 2
I haven't read the William Faulker novel this film is based on, but suspect it is way superior to this movie.
Some problems with this film: the annoying split-screen - which is very pretentious film-school-student-level and Goddard 1970s (this is what happens when you let an actor direct). Plus the fact I simply do not believe the James Franco character at all (maybe he just cannot act?). The long lingering on a metropolitan American imagining of what it is to be amongst the rural poor in the 1920s/30s - overdone really. And the use of monologues by characters - which clog up and lengthen the film (no film needs commentary from characters to tell us what is happening if it's filmed well).
Still, things to enjoy: the superb performance by the open-mouth rotten-toothed father character with the authentic dialect and accent (thank Faulkner for that). Some spooky sound and music. The atmosphere of the poor south. The 'disaster' scenes of various types.
For those who like wallowing in nostalgic poverty porn misery, this'll be like heaven.
For me, my reaction is 'neh'... it passed a couple of hours when there was nothing on the telly. Ho hum. 2 stars.