Can James Franco's movie become the first since 'Tyson' in 2008 to win the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes?
Jim Parrack & James Franco in As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying, written, directed and starring James Franco, is aiming to become the first American movie to win the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival since 2008's Tyson documentary. Franco's movie is adapted from William Faulkner's classic American novel of the same name and stars the Oscar nominee as a son's quest to bury the body of his mother in accordance with her wishes.
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Though the trailer hints at Franco's penchant for the avant-garde, it looks far more of a straight narrative affair then, say, Interior. Leather Bar. Franco plays the second oldest child Darl, while Tim Blake Nelson appears to do a sublime job of portraying father Anse. Danny McBride plays friend of the family Vernon Tull while Ahna O'Reilly - who's making a buzz with the Weinstein's Fruitvale - plays daughter Dewey Dell. The movie has a reasonable chance of scooping for 30,000 euro prize at Cannes, though it's safe to assume festival favorite Sofia Coppola is the frontrunner with hipster tale The Bling Ring - still, it would be a long-awaited American success.
Continue reading: James Franco Takes On Faulkner In 'As I Lay Dying' [Trailer & Pictures]
The nominal plot has stout-hearted Colonel Loring Leigh (C. Aubrey Smith -- who else?) kicked out of the Lancers for signing an order allowing a shipment guns to find their way into the hands of a band of Indian rebels, who end up massacring 90 men at one of those Indian passes so famous in '30s movie adventure yarns. Colonel Leigh is drummed out of the army but knows he's been set up and his signature forged. Returning to England he summons his four sons -- dim bulb Oxford student Rodney (William Henry), pompous barrister Wyatt (George Sanders), shallow ladies man/aviator Chris (David Niven), and stuffy British attache Geoffrey (Richard Greene) -- in order to show them the evidence proving he was framed by an international gun cartel. He doesn't get that far. While the boys are sipping bitters in the ante room, Colonel Leigh is shot dead in his study and the evidence removed. The press claims Leigh committed suicide from his disgrace, but the boys know better and set about to find his killer and clear his name.
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The New York Film Festival offered a double bill of savory morsels in this succulent vein, presided over master chef Martin Scorsese and his restoration outfit, The Film Foundation. On the bill-of-fare at The New York Film Festival were two 20th Century Fox three-strip Technicolor sweetmeats -- John Ford's Drums Along the Mohawk and John Stahl's Leave Her To Heaven.
Continue reading: Drums Along The Mohawk Review