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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:
... Darl Bundren
... Anse
... Cash
... Dewey Dell
... Jewel
... Vardaman Bundren
... Vernon Tull
... Addie Bundren
... Dr. Peabody
... 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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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

Referenced in Comedy Central Roast of James Franco (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

 
Doesn't work; if you haven't read the book, it'll probably seem incomprehensible
8 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

I remember, when this debuted at Cannes, a tweet from some critic which basically said "I can't wait to read the book so I can figure out what the Hell it was I just watched!" Now, I have read the book (around 13 years ago), but, man, does this ever seem absolutely impenetrable to anyone who hasn't. That doesn't necessarily effect me any as a viewer, but it should be noted. Unfortunately, even as a big fan of the book, this film really doesn't work very well. It's a valiant attempt, I think, but a failure nonetheless. Franco, clearly an amateur (though not without talent), utilizes split screens to tell his story. I can understand why, but it's just too busy. Tim Blake Nelson, who plays Anse, the patriarch of the Bundren clan, is incomprehensible. Again, I can understand why (the text clearly states that he is toothless), but he didn't need to be so impossible to understand (again, someone who is unfamiliar with the book will be utterly lost). Nelson really was a great choice to play Anse, so it's really unfortunate his performance goes down the toilet like this. The casting of the rest of the Bundrens isn't that great, either. Franco is easily the standout as Darl, but Jim Parrack and Logan Marshall-Green as Cash and Jewel respectively pretty much get lost because of their bland performances. Brady Permenter as Vardaman is a poor child actor. Ahna O'Reilly is not a bad actress, but she's 10 years older than the character of Dewey Dell, which is incredibly noticeable. Finally, there's Beth Grant (who still doubts your commitment to Sparkle Motion) as Addie. She's quite good, but, of course, dead for most of the movie. Franco also seems to miss the semi-comic tone of the novel, making it almost fully a tragedy. I mean, that final bit is kind of hilarious, but Franco doesn't play it as such. It just comes off as weird.


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