Child of God

Based on the chilling and provocative 1973 novel by Cormac McCarthy, Child of God depicts a depraved vagabond, shunned by society, who descends into a life of extreme isolation and moral degradation. It’s uncomfortable viewing, including scenes of murder and necrophilia. I don't want to fault director James Franco’s lofty ambitions, but McCarthy’s rich textures and realistic details are completely lost. I gave Franco a pass for his reverent adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (2013) but you can’t take such a dense, darkly poetic, metaphysical tale of redemption like Child of God, and turn it into such simple-minded, artless mediocrity.