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As I Lay Dying

Director:  James Franco
Year Released:  2013
Rating:  2.0

Following the death of their mother, Addie (Beth Grant), a family from Mississippi (including Tim Blake Nelson as the patriarch and Franco as his misguided son) honors her wishes and transports her body to Jefferson for burial. Though it's tempting to give Franco credit for attempting to film an admittedly difficult literary work that features William Faulkner's penchant for stream-of-conscious writing and a medley of narrators, this gussied-up version contains one too many film school tricks (particularly an ill-advised use of split-screen) and a tired, all-too-pensive nod to Terrence Malick's style of filmmaking. Franco tries to be faithful to the source text, but the power of Faulkner resides on the page; transport it to the screen and the magic fizzles. Nelson's teeth are memorably gnarly.

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