LFF Review: As I Lay Dying

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as-i-lay-dying-posterStarring: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Danny McBride, Beth Grant, Logan Marshall-Green, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by: James Franco

James Franco keeps churning out films faster than most people can keep track of, and they all seem to have some merit to them, making it all the more impressive. One of his latest directorial ventures is an adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year. Franco also co-wrote it (with Matthew Rager), and stars in it alongside Jim Parrack, Logan Marshall-Green, Tim Blake Nelson, Beth Grant, Ahna O’Reilly and Danny McBride.

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Preview of The 57th BFI London Film Festival

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Today the full programme for the 57th BFI London Film Festival was announced, which runs in the city from 9th to 20th October, mainly in Leicester Square and the BFI’s home on Southbank, but also featuring screenings all over London.

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Review: 127 Hours

I’ve taken my time to start writing this review, mainly because I feel like I will say something wrong. Given that it’s a true story, it feels weird commenting on the things I would normally comment on in a review, like the story of the film, and the performances. A movie where it isn’t a true story, or I don’t know it is, makes it a lot easier to comment on characters and what actors do with them. But I can’t say whether James Franco did justice to the real Aron Ralston. I liked him in it, and I really believed his felt the pain and the emotions, but for all I know, Aron isn’t really like that. Having said that, Danny Boyle probably would not have stopped until Ralston’s story was told perfectly and accurately, so it is my faith in him that allows me to love this so much.

I’m guessing comparisons to Buried are inevitable, but it didn’t really make me think of it at all. Boyle’s style is so engraved into his, it doesn’t feel like another movie about a man stuck in a confined space. Had anyone else attempted this, it probably would have been a slightly boring drama, but thankfully it isn’t. There’s something a bit unusual about how the film is, and how it works, which could be down to the editing (by Jon Harris) as well.

The 90-odd minutes just fly by, but they aren’t minutes I could relive again. Not any time soon, anyway. It’s odd, because of how much I loved it, but some of those minutes are terribly difficult to watch. And they’re not the ones you expect going. Maybe it’s because of everything I had to deal with before ‘the scene’, but that I could just about deal with again. (I might not even have to cover my eyes for the most part the second time… who knows.)

The music is great; I’m so glad A. R. Rahman did it. I really hope he gets more opportunities in the west as well, as long as he saves time to do something in India as well.

As I have said, its not an easy watch, but its definitely an important one that everyone who can handle it should see, and its possibly one of the best of the year.

And for people who have seen it, did anyone else have a dream like the sofa premonition after watching the film? ‘Cos I did… and it was freaky. Interesting to see who was there and who wasn’t.