What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that As I Lay Dying is an adaptation of William Faulkner's great 1930 novel, written, directed by, and starring James Franco. It contains some disturbing violence, notably a broken leg that turns gangrenous and must be sawed off (a little blood is shown). And of course, death is at the center of the story. There's also a disturbing scene in which an abortion doctor has sex with a patient as "payment" for her services. A fully naked man is shown for a second or two, and there's another, gentler sex scene. Language is light, and includes "son of a bitch." There's one scene of drinking, but mainly as a painkiller during the broken leg sequence. High school students struggling with the book may not find much help here, but older, hardcore Faulkner fans may appreciate it.
- Families can talk about the movie's violence. How do the darker and more disturbing moments help to underline or illustrate the family's hardship? Could the movie have been made without them?
- How does this movie compare to the book? How does it compare to other literary adaptations you may have seen? Does the movie make you want to read the book, if you haven't already?
- How does this movie compare with James Franco's other films? What could he be trying to say by choosing to make a movie from this particular book?