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Based on 13 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 40
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    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. show more

  • 70
    Todd McCarthy The Hollywood Reporter

    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. show more

  • 63
    Slant Magazine

    James Franco's readiness in approaching famously abstract source material certainly doesn't translate well into his directorial formalism, or, more appropriately, lack of formalism. show more

  • 38
    Kyle Smith New York Post

    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. show more

  • 60
    Peter Bradshaw The Guardian

    Franco's As I Lay Dying is a worthwhile movie, approached in an intelligent and creative spirit. The ensemble work from the actors is generally very strong, with a star turn from Nelson as the prematurely aged patriarch, and the story is presented lucidly and confidently. show more

  • 40
    David Fear Time Out New York

    They quickly smother whatever greatness was inherent in the material. Faulkner’s vivid, tragic and tender world is nowhere to be found here, and it's a deal breaker by any other name. show more

  • 40
    Sam Adams The Dissolve

    Putting Faulkner’s dialogue in actors’ mouths only underlines the fact that it was never meant to be read aloud, and simply cutting between one perspective and the next does nothing to evoke the rushing stream of collective consciousness that runs through Faulkner’s South. show more

  • 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. show more

  • 50
    Kevin Jagernauth The Playlist

    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. show more

  • 70
    A.O. Scott The New York Times

    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. show more

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