A dispossessed, violent man's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.
On the first day of shooting, James Franco, David Shields and Caleb Powell throw out the script when a real life argument breaks out between the three of them about what can and can't be ... See full summary »
The original book, upon which the movie is based, is told from the perspective of fifteen different characters over fifty-nine chapters. Split screens are used throughout much of the movie, and this is designed to reflect the different perspectives of the characters. See more »
Different actors play Lafe and McCallum. As Cleanth Brooks pointed out shortly after the novel was written, these two are the same person: Lafe McCallum. See more »
My father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead for a long time.
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As I Lay Dying an be seen as an ensemble piece within one larger film as a whole. The weakest link in the ensemble, disappointingly, is Franco himself, who retains a smirky remove even during Darl Bundren's most emotionally bare scenes -- though he does at least give himself the best close-ups. You might say that remove characterizes Franco's direction, too: sporadically clever as his treatment is, he never seems all that invested in the novel except as a particularly challenging exercise for his ongoing artistic self-invention. Challenge passed, then. But the task of creating a film even obliquely equal to the rageful literary brazenness of Faulkner remains a hopeless task that Franco, with nothing to lose. Overall, the film differs on another level of severe boredom.
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