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As I Lay Dying (2013)

R | | Drama | 22 October 2013 (USA)
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Based on the classic novel by William Faulkner, first published in 1930, "As I Lay Dying" is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her last wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.

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(based on a novel by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cora Tull (as Jennifer Howell)
Natalie Minton ...
Kate Tull
Anna Kooris ...
Eula Tull
Steve Nabors ...
Reverend Whitfield
John Still ...
Samson
Susan McMillin ...
Mrs. Samson
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Storyline

Based on the classic novel by William Faulkner, first published in 1930, "As I Lay Dying" is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her last wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images, some sexual content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

22 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último deseo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,143, 13 October 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$15,009, 18 October 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

(at around 23 mins) Just before the reverend begins to sing, "Shall we gather at the river", and just as Anse says, "She's going to a better place," the boom mic is visible above his head. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Addie Bundren: 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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Connections

Featured in Filmselskabet: Episode #4.1 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Shall We Gather at the River?
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Lowry
Performed by Funeral Service Attendees
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User Reviews

 
An interesting take on a strange tale
5 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

James Franco has seemingly set out to be the busiest man in Hollywood. Franco unfulfilled by just acting in recent times has taken on art, writing and adapting so called un-filmable novels with the forthcoming McCarthy adaptation Child of God premiering recently and this faithful and very intriguing adaptation of William Faulkner's revered 1930 book As I Lay Dying which had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

It's clear that Franco filmed this atmospheric tale on a limited budget yet was able to recruit some serious acting talent to join him on screen as the Bundren family. Stand outs in the acting stakes are Tim Blake Nelson as toothless family head Anse and Marshall-Green as half cast and grizzled Jewel. All cast members acquit themselves well to difficult material, even Franco's real life buddy and funny man Danny McBride does well in a small cameo like roll. Franco's fine direction of fellow actors is commendable but his artistic decision not so much.

A strange choice by Franco is to put screen juxtaposition in a two frame format for roughly half of the films running time. This two pane structure comes off as merely annoying and takes away from the full screen beauty of much of the films images and natural landscape which are wonderfully captured by cinematographer Christina Voros. This technique was employed from an outsiders knowledge to portray the novels various voices and themes yet really is in no way integral to the films telling and as a finished product seems a tad on the pretentious side of things.

If you can overcome As I Lay Dying's almost tortuous opening 30 minutes where I found myself more than tempted to stop the film in its tracks there is much to admire in the film and by the last 20 minutes you will find yourself enthralled in this strange and depressing tale of a family lost in more ways than one. As I Lay Dying gives one hope that Franco will do justice to Child of God and perhaps one day his dream project of Blood Meridian.

3 concrete casts out of 5

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