A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
William Faulkner would be proud - so faithful to the novel
Firstly, I'm a huge fan of Faulkner and James Franco. I was so excited to hear that this difficult to read but excellent novel was going to be made into a movie after 80 years that when I first watched it, I just couldn't believe it was so true to the novel.
I mean, this is history in the making as I previously stated no one has ever made this novel into a movie before and more people should be extremely excited and watch it at whatever the format, as it is highly recommended to all, especially students as an additional tool to the novel.
Whether you decide to read the novel in the original covers or the latest version with Franco's face on, which has had some critics and fans of William Faulkner up in arms, the key point to remember is to read the novel, at some point in your lifetime (it's that great); and if Franco happens to bring more attention to Faulkner in terms of people who have never heard of him, then that's 100% positive period.
Seriously though, you don't necessary need to have read the novel to enjoy this excellent movie but it might help.
William Faulkner's Estate: IMPORTANT FACT THAT SHOULD BE NOTED BY THE AUDIENCE - I didn't realise this until I saw this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVu0EE0qHi4 re Mississippi Premiere of "As I Lay Dying" with Q&A for OFF from oxfordfilmfest.com that the Faulkner Estate was somehow involved and fully supportive with this movie as Lee Caplin - Executor of Faulkner Estate and Producer of this movie confirms.
I urge anyone interested in this movie to watch this video as it answers a lot of the questions you might have, and I'm kind of surprised that it is not on Faulkner's facebook pages in regards to this novel.
Rotten Tomatoes: Please be aware too that there are lots of positive reviews for this movie, but somehow Rotten Tomatoes have chosen not to record this. I suggest anyone who truly appreciates this movie should ensure they record their thoughts on either IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, Faulkner's facebook pages or where they watched it from, if from a website.
Movies like these don't come around often (and we need much more), and for those who appreciate great quality gems like this, it should be recorded and passed on for recommendation.
Split Screen: I noticed that one of the key complaints critics and some audience members have regarding this movie is the split screen. I truly see the beauty in this, it works brilliantly.
Since, I can do two things at once on a general basis, I could follow everything perfectly and it wasn't a distraction that hurt my eyes. To me, it was easy to follow and works extremely well to enhance the novel on to the big screen.
I feel that audience members have now become so lazy and numb with bad story telling or blockbusters, that the slightest change to opening their minds and experiencing something different can prove too difficult at times; especially, if it comes from someone like Franco (who the media constantly tries to tell the audience to hate, because he seems to be on the right track, as in doing his own unique thing but appreciate others like Gosling, Levitt, Fassbender etc.).
In my opinion, Franco will become one of the best directors ever, as well as an acting legend, hence the critics are trying their very best to stop this but in the long run they will fail.
Another movie coming out shortly that will be using split screen is Nymphomaniac, which can be classified as porn (no matter how you dress it up) by Lars von Trier an Oscar nominated director. Now, will Trier get the same kind of treatment as Franco, whether he uses a little or a lot of split screen? I think not. Somehow, the critics will find an angle that's perfect but continue to hate on Franco.
Dialogue: Others have also issued complaints regarding the barely understandable dialogue that came from Tim Blake Nelson as Anse, which I could also understand clearly, and think his performance is Oscar worthy (the whole movie is Oscar worthy). If, I could understand Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises or Brad Pitt as Mickey O'Neil in Snatch then it was easy for this.
In fact, everyone played their parts perfectly and I particularly loved Franco, Logan Marshall-Green, Danny McBride, and Ahna O'Reilly.
Finally, like the novel it is not for everyone as might prove the movie also. However, Franco and his team have been extremely faithful to the novel, I can't stress this enough, so I was very happy with the final result.
Basically, for those who hate Franco for the sake of it, they had to find something however small to hate on this movie. Not only, did he do justice to an 80 years novel (can't stop repeating this) that has never been filmed before (remember these great directors that the critics so very much admire, but have never had the nerve to attempt this) and in my opinion again, Oscar worthy.
In time, I will guess that this movie will become a classic just like the novel. I suggest you all judge for yourselves very soon (it might need repeat viewing with some to truly understand).
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