Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco Jim Parrack, Jeremy Ambler, Fallon Goodson, Vince Jolivette, Brian Lally, Nina Ljeti, Boyd Smith, Terrance Huff, Nathan Mohebbi
A dispossessed, violent man's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard (Scott Haze) descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.
OpinionRecently James Franco has been acting like he is some kind of god, great at anything. I'm his fan, but I can't see all that genius.
Slow-like-a-sloth paced, Child of God is an ambitious but failed attempt to bring Cormac McCarthy's novel to the screen, that fails in being engaging, but succeeds in being an embarrassing adaptation. Essentially, The Coen Bros only should bring to the screen McCarthy's novels.
James Franco's direction is terrible. If I didn't know it, I'd say this was his directorial debut, given the poorly handheld shots, particularly at the beginning of the film. The editing also is not that good, with too many scenes fading into black.
The writing is awful. Franco had some big troubles with bringing the source material to the big screen, and he ended up destroying it. Not much happens in here besides from necrophilia, and glorification of taking lives - and the biggest problem is that the film didn't manage to convey horror, and disgust, at least for me. Ballard, the lead character is not engaging, and we don't empathize with him, because we don't get his backstory, or any reason to care about him. The end leaves a lot to the imagination, and as the screen eventually turns black, you will only fell sorry for the tiger and the teddy bear.
Along all that black yin, there is also a little white spot of yang. The musical score is lovely, the font's choice for the titles is great, and Scott Haze is absolutely brilliant as Ballard. He delivers a hell of a performance, visceral, raw, and disturbing.
Watch this only if you are interested in anything McCarthy related, or you really love Franco.