As I Lay Dying

Watch As I Lay Dying

"From the classic novel by William Faulkner"
  • R
  • 2013
  • 2 hr
  • 5.4  (4,168)
  • 50

As I Lay Dying is a 2013 movie adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel of the same name. The movie is directed, co-written and starred in by James Franco, who portrays the complicated Bundren family in a Southern rural town. The movie is a blend of drama, tragedy, and comedy, and is told from multiple perspectives, giving the viewers a glimpse into each character’s thoughts and feelings.

The movie follows the Bundren family as they transport the matriarch of the family, Addie Bundren (Beth Grant), to her final resting place. Her dying wish is to be buried close to her hometown, Jefferson. However, getting Addie’s casket to Jefferson is not an easy feat, and the journey is full of obstacles and challenges. Along the way, the Bundren family encounters floods, injuries, and bitter family conflicts.

The Bundren family consists of Anse (Tim Blake Nelson), the patriarch of the family, who is responsible for bringing Addie’s casket to Jefferson. Anse is a complicated character, lazy, and selfish, and doesn't appear to have much love for his children. Addie's children - Darl (James Franco), Jewel (Logan Marshall-Green), Dewey Dell (Ahna O'Reilly), and Vardaman (Brady Permenter) - all have their struggles as well. Darl, the eldest son, has a complicated relationship with his mother Addie and is mentally unstable. Jewel, the illegitimate son of Addie, is a horseman and has deep resentment towards Anse. Dewey Dell, Addie's only daughter, is pregnant and wishes to get an abortion secretly. Vardaman, the youngest son, is a young boy struggling to understand his mother’s death.

Throughout the journey, the family's relationships and secrets are gradually revealed through the characters' internal dialogue, flashbacks, and interactions among themselves and with the people they meet along the way. The dirt-poor family is met with numerous challenges on the journey, including floods, fires, and horse thefts. James Franco's character, Darl, becomes more and more unstable as the journey progresses. He seems to be the most invested in his mother's death and wants to fulfill her dying wish. Nevertheless, the family often clashes regarding how to do so.

Tim Blake Nelson’s character Anse is the most enigmatic and, at times, irritating. He seems content to let his family bear the brunt of the journey, which he has no doubt will end in his favor. The minor characters in the movie are also essential to the plot, particularly the Reverend (Jim Parrack), who is a significant figure in Dewey Dell’s storyline.

Director James Franco also makes an appearance in the film, playing the role of Darl, which turned some fans off. However, the adaptation stays true to Faulkner’s style, and the use of multiple narrators to tell the story successfully brings the weight and complexity of the novel. The bleakness and hardships of rural Southern life are laid out in detail, leaving the viewer with a sense of depression and tragedy.

As I Lay Dying can be challenging to follow if the viewer is unfamiliar with the book. Nevertheless, the film captures the pain, the humor, and the rawness of Faulkner’s classic work. The movie portrays the importance of family ties in a time where life was so precarious, where hard work and survival were the most important things.

In conclusion, As I Lay Dying is a movie adaptation that captured William Faulkner's intricate novel of the same name. The multiple narration, bleakness of rural southern life, and complicated family relationships were all portrayed in detail in this film. With powerful performances from actors like James Franco and Tim Blake Nelson, the movie gives a sense of pain and tragedy while showing the power of family ties.

As I Lay Dying is a 2013 drama with a runtime of 2 hours. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.4 and a MetaScore of 50.

As I Lay Dying
Where to Watch As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying is available to watch free on Peacock, The Roku Channel Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent As I Lay Dying for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.4  (4,168)
  • Metascore