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Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on the 1930 classic by William Faulkner, the story chronicles the Bundren family as they traverse the Mississippi countryside to bring the body of their deceased mother Addie to her hometown for burial. Addieâ
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Boyd Van Hoeij
    May 25, 2013
    83
    The film seems to have been made to suggest something of Faulkner's style in a cinematic medium, and it's certainly laudable that there have been very few concessions to the marketability of a project like this.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 25, 2013
    70
    Franco, employing diverse cinematic techniques from split screen (mostly early on) to direct-to-camera address, makes the Bundrens’ time of trial more immediately coherent than it is on the page without disrespecting Faulkner’s oblique style.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 10, 2013
    70
    In rushing in where wise men might fear to tread, Mr. Franco has accomplished something serious and worthwhile. His As I Lay Dying is certainly ambitious, but it is also admirably modest.
  4. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    May 25, 2013
    50
    As I Lay Dying is another Franco lark that is more of an experiment with form than a fully realized movie. One almost gets the sense that Franco is working out ideas with As I Lay Dying, with the goal of creating a cohesive film as a secondary ambition to simply capturing the feel of Faulkner's prose.
  5. Reviewed by:  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Oct 9, 2013
    50
    Like Franco’s other directorial efforts, it ends up coming across as an academic art object, somewhere halfway between a graduate thesis and a video installation—interesting, but only in context.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 10, 2013
    40
    Alas, the split-screen compositions, slow-motion effects, pensive closeups and prosthetic teeth can’t distract from what’s missing: Faulkner’s pointed but deeply buried observations of the human condition.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 11, 2013
    38
    As Franco dilutes the drama with first-year-film-student gimmicks, like split screens and slow motion, it just seems like a dull collection of pointless monologues from actors who can’t even be bothered to match up their accents. Franco is a dilettante, and it shows.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Nov 2, 2013
    9
    (It took a long time for me to watch this film in the Tribeca Film Festival. So its a late review) James Franco brings his tactics altogether in As I Lay Dying. First of all, Franco makes a beautiful and reflective film that absorbs power and danger. It's a little slow but once the drama pumps it begins. As I Lay Dying is one of Franco's greatest films yet In my opinion. The acting also done by James is astonishing and breathtaking. This is a must watch movie with forgivable pacing flaws. Hard, Gritty and Powerful- As I Lay Dying is a must watch for anyone. Expand
  2. Nov 5, 2013
    6
    This is a tough story to tell. Faulkner's painting of this story is very dynamic in the book. So I was very interested to see this film. And, is a fairly interesting visually and the characters are well casted with interesting depictions. It starts slowly but Franco eventually gets to the struggling, anagonizing, painful feeling Faulkner artfully portrays. With a Grapes of Wrath feeling the viewer becomes a passenger almost seemlessly. It is unfortunate most people will not see this film due to the lack of publicity. But worth a watch if you cannot read a book-otherwise get the book. Collapse

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