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Accent picks up James Franco's Cormac McCarthy adaptation

02/05/2014

Child of God, adapted by James Franco from the acclaimed novel by Cormac McCarthy, is a chilling tale of an outcast whose slum existence on the fringes of a rural society spirals into violence and moral depravity. Newcomer Scott Haze incarnates the title character Lester Ballard. Tim Black Nelson (O Brother Where Art Thou) and Franco himself also feature prominently. Accent Film will be releasing Child of God on both Blu-ray and DVD August 20.

Sean Penn had long wanted to film an adaptation of McCarthy's searing book which follows the unkempt feral Ballard, a deranged man in his 30s, divested of kin, social order and morality, whose rugged dispossession - he squats in abandoned dwellings of the community he was abandoned to - cuts to the despair of his overwhelming exclusion from the world. Roaming Sevier County during the 1960s with a shotgun, he wins plush toys at a local fair and these become his only friends in which to share thoughts and feelings before he plunges into the abyss.

Before long Lester is on a rampage across the valley collecting corpse brides and cave dwelling while on the run from the law. Xan Brooks writing in The Guardian observes, "Child of God is a shocking tale of backwoods lunacy and one man's descent into hell. Perhaps the most shocking thing about it is that it's really rather good." Culture Fix also raves: "The young director packs this tale with a visceral realism - much of which comes from the raw period atmosphere channeled through the brown soiled Tennessee woodland setting."

Nominated for the Golden Lion at the prestigious Venice Film Festival and nominated for the Grand Marnier Fellowship Award at the New York Film Festival, Child of God is both lyrical and rough-hewn in bringing to life the third and most challenging books of McCarthy's Southern cycle.

Other film adaptations of McCarthy's works include The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen and the Academy Award winning Best Picture No Country for Old Men by Joel and Ethan Coen.

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