As I Lay Dying
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I don't pretend to have a clue how to adapt William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" for the screen, but unlike James Franco, I, at least, didn't try."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"Like Franco's other directorial efforts, it ends up coming across as an academic art object, somewhere halfway between a graduate thesis and a video installation-interesting, but only in context."
‑ Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club
"As I Lay Dying tries to adapt the impossible, but unfortunately it is bested by Faulkner's weighty source material."
‑ Matt Donato, We Got This Covered
"Both brilliant and maddening"
‑ Witney Seibold, CraveOnline
"Comes across - whether it's Franco's intention or not - as a grossly self-indulgent project that will alienate some of his fan base."
‑ Lisa Giles-Keddie, HeyUGuys
"As a whole ... "As I Lay Dying" conveys some of Faulkner's themes, and the details of the Bundren family story, with clarity and concision."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"Faulkner fans... need not be up in arms about this version of his Nobel Prize winner."
‑ Catherine Bray, Time Out
"Some of the filming techniques are overused and the monologues are a bit too circuitous, but As I Lay Dying has the ability to be quite striking at times and its impulsive structure can be viewed as both an asset and a defect."
‑ Chris Sawin,
"What Franco came up with... is messy, bizarre, muted, and confusing, but it's also heartfelt and personal. It takes more risks than most movies."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
"Franco doesn't answer the elemental question posed by any literary adaptation: Why does this movie exist?"
‑ Sam Adams, The Dissolve
"It remains to be seen whether James Franco can live up to his outsized ambitions."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"The past may never be done with us, but Lord, do we wish Franco was done with our literary heritage."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"A qualified, perfectly respectable success"
‑ Justin Stewart, Film Comment Magazine
"Franco may prove that he has a fresh visual eye, but the highly emotive story is oddly uninvolving."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"James Franco makes his directing debut with this ambitious adaptation of William Faulkner's notoriously downbeat novel. No surprise: it's extremely grim!"
‑ Rich Cline,
More reviews for As I Lay Dying on Rotten Tomatoes