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As I Lay Dying | 2013 | R | - 6.5.3

Based on the William Faulkner novel, the death of Addie Bundren brings together a ragged family as they try to honor her wishes to be buried in a nearby town. With James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Ahna O'Reilly and Danny McBride. Directed by James Franco. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - We see a man and a woman appear to be engaged in active sex with the man above the woman (they both appear fully clothed) and the woman's legs around the man's waist as he appears to be thrusting.
 A man is raping a young woman in exchange for performing an abortion: he thrusts above the young woman (he appears to be wearing boxer-style underwear) while the young woman's legs are seen wrapped around the man's waist and she is crying.
 We see a fully nude man (his bare back and genitals are seen). We see a shirtless young boy (his bare chest and back are visible).
 A man (posing as a doctor) asks a woman if she wants an abortion and he remarks that he could go to jail for performing the procedure; the man then implies that he will ask the young woman to perform a sex act in order to pay for the abortion and instructs her to come back later in the day. We hear a young woman's voiceover saying that she had sex with a young man and that her brother had his suspicions; the voiceover implies that she is pregnant and needs to go into town to have an abortion. A young woman implies to a pharmacist that she would like to buy medication to cause her to abort; the man scolds her and tells her that no amount of money would purchase medication to self-abort.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A doctor tells a man that his foot has become gangrenous after breaking his ankle and not having it set properly; he goes on to say that the man should have his leg cut off to prevent any further pain and we hear the sound of a man sawing through another man's leg (we see blood on the saw and continue to hear the wet sound of the saw cutting through the man's leg).
 A man is raping a young woman in exchange for performing an abortion: he thrusts above the young woman (he appears to be wearing boxer-style underwear) while the young woman's legs are seen wrapped around the man's waist and she is crying.
 We see a group of men and a young woman carrying a man (their brother) with a bone sticking out of his ankle and a small amount of blood is visible; the man shouts as an older man sets the bone after remarking that men's legs and pig's legs are no different; we later see the man with his leg wrapped and blood is seen on the bandage as he winces in pain while riding along a bumpy lane in a horse carriage.
 Three men (brothers) try to ford a high, rushing river while shouting at one another and we see a large tree trunk strike one of their horses; it appears to drown as the buggy that it is pulling (holding their dead mother's casket) tips; we see one of the men drop to the ground and two other men fall off their horses and flail in the water as the casket carries the body down the rushing rapids; the dead horse floats in the water and we see the coffin crash to the edge of the river and we later see the men collecting themselves on the shore and we see a dead horse, stiff on the shore.
 A man remarks that another man (his brother) set fire to a man's barn and we see two police officers approach the man and attempt to arrest him; they grab the man and a young woman leaps on top of the man, knocking him to the ground; he shouts and the young woman backs away as he stands up, unharmed.
 Throughout the movie we see an older woman going through the stages of death: she is shown to be dying and a young woman (her daughter) helps her into bed and we see a man look surprised when he sees her in bed; we see multiple women surrounding the bed and watching the older woman while waiting for her to die; the older woman pants and a young woman (her daughter) fans her; a man (implied to the be the husband of the older woman) says that the woman has died and we see a young woman (the older woman's daughter) crying over the body, and then placing the woman's hands on her lap. A man and a young woman lower their dead mother's body into a coffin while her husband makes a remark about the older woman being dead.
 A young boy asks his older brother why they are lifting the casket carrying his dead mother into a barn and the older boy remarks that he can smell the woman's casket; soon after, we see the barn on fire and several men rush to save the animals inside the barn and one of the men tries to save the burning casket; he carries the burning casket out and we see that his back is on fire; he collapses to the ground and we later see the man's younger sister applying salve to his burnt back. We see a man applying cement to blood-soaked bandages on his broken leg and he is obviously racked with pain but remains silent. A man is in extreme pain as another man chips away at set cement on the injured man's leg; the injured man's father advises that they leave the cement on the injured leg because he may lose his foot.
 Two brothers shout at one another, and a man (their stepfather) also shouts at them, concerning the care and transportation of the men's dead mother's body. A boy chases crows away from the lid of a casket holding his dead mother's body. A woman comes out of a house and remarks that the smell of a casket with a dead body in it is very strong. A man tells another man that his dead mother's casket is beginning to smell and that he needs to take care of it. Several men carry a casket with a dead woman inside through a town and it is implied that the body is rotting and smells (we see people holding handkerchiefs over their faces and a man shouts that the casket is creating a public health hazard. A man, sitting in a buggy next to the coffin holding his dead mother, says that the woman's body will begin to smell soon if she is not buried.
 A man shouts at his brothers and says that their mother is not going to die that day; the man then explains that he believes the woman will not die, and implies that another brother is making the coffin in anticipation of his mother's death. A man shouts at another man. A man tells his brother repeatedly that he knows their mother is going to die. A man says that his wife (an older woman) is going to be dying soon. An older woman looks at the camera and says that people are alive to get ready to die. During an extended voiceover sequence, we hear a young woman discuss that she had imagined being whipped and feeling the welt of the whip on her body. A man warns another man that he could cause a man to lose his leg if he does not go to a doctor. A man instructs his younger brother to place his head on the casket of their dead mother and the boy tells the man that he can hear the woman speaking; the man says that the woman is "talking" and saying that she has been trying to "lay down her life." A young boy stabs the carcass of a dead catfish and we see blood ooze from the wound; we later see a young woman pull the knife from the catfish and fantasize about stabbing a man in the chest and stomach. We see a young boy drop a very large dead fish on the ground in front of his father and another man; the man tells the young boy to gut the fish. We see an eviscerated catfish, cut into pieces and placed in a serving tray. We see a man spit on the ground (we see the spittle leave his mouth).
 A man puts a rope around a horse's neck, the horse rears up twice, and then calms down and allows the man to pet and ride her.

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LANGUAGE 3 - 11 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, an outrage against decency, darned if he isn't a sight, thick nosed soul, pussel-gutted [mild obscenity deleted], sweet son of a [mild obscenity deleted], poultry sawbuck), exclamations (shut-up), 7 religious profanities (GD), 2 religious exclamations (Oh God).

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SUBSTANCE USE - An older man drinks a glass of whiskey and instructs a man to drink the entire glass to cut the pain of a broken ankle, and two men drink whiskey.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Movies based on a book, extreme poverty, rape, death of a parent, funerals, decomposition, abortion, disappointment, having a child out of wedlock, family bonds.
MESSAGE - Movies based on nonfigurative books can be confusing.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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