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.
Tim Blake Nelson,
The original book upon which the movie is based is told from the perspective of 15 different characters over 59 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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Probably doesn't do the source material justice but it's still an extremely interesting film going experience!
'AS I LAY DYING': Four Stars (Out of Five)
James Franco undertook the ambitious creative effort of trying to adapt author William Faulkner's classic 1930 book (of the same name) and partially succeeded. Franco directed the film and wrote it's screenplay. He also co-stars in the movie with a bunch of his friends; like Danny McBride, Tim Blake Nelson and Jim Parrack (he co-stars with Nelson and Parrack in another film he co-wrote and directed this year, based on a book by Cormac McCarthy, called 'CHILD OF GOD'). The film, if nothing else, is very interesting and it's great to see Franco continuously trying new and different things.
The story begins with the death of Addie Bundren (Beth Grant). She left behind her husband Anse (Nelson), daughter Dewey Dell (Ahna O'Reilly) and four sons (Franco, Parrack, Logan Marshall-Green and Brady Permenter). It then focuses on the family's efforts to transport Addie's body to the town of Jefferson, to be buried (as she wished). Each family member has their own troubles and drama. It's set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi (based on Faulkner's home Lafayette County).
I never read the book so I didn't know the story at all prior to seeing the movie. So for me it was really bizarre and interesting. I know a lot of fans of the book are unhappy with Franco's adaptation but there are some that think it's a good enough summary of a near impossible novel to adapt (into a movie). I liked all of the performances (I especially was fascinated by Nelson and Marshall-Green) and found all the characters to be really interesting. I really liked Franco's directing as well and think he shows a lot of promise with this film. Maybe he shouldn't try to adapt such popular and classic works of modern literature but he definitely has talent as a filmmaker. There's a lot to marvel at in the movie, for sure. It probably doesn't do the source material justice but it's still an extremely interesting film going experience.
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