American Pastoral

American Pastoral

American Pastoral

An American businessman's upper middle class life is thrown into turmoil in this 1960s domestic drama. Ewan McGregor's directorial debut, which adapts Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and stars himself and Jennifer Connelly.

"The film's elegant framing device introduces Seymour's (McGregor) former classmate, and Roth's inveterate alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman (David Strathairn). At a high-school reunion, Zuckerman catches up with Seymour's brother, Jerry (Rupert Evans), and discovers the remarkable tale of his old friend. A successful businessman with a happy family, Seymour's life begins to slide off the rails when his teenaged daughter, Merry (Fanning), becomes radicalised in reaction to the war in Vietnam. Soon she rejects her family's comfortable existence for a secret life of violent protest."

"Through a combination of Jerry's disclosures and Zuckerman's own recollections of his fleeting encounters with Seymour, a complex portrait is gradually constructed, one that speaks to the experience of not simply one man, but rather of an entire generation struggling to comprehend the dissolution of a dream." (Toronto International Film Festival)

2016Rating: M, Mature themes, sex scene and coarse language108 minsHong Kong, USA
CrimeDrama
87%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Ewan McGregor's directorial debut is as flat and strangled as Philip Roth's novel is furious and expansive.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Adapting Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was always going to be a tall order for any director. In first-timer Ewan McGregor's hands it's entirely unwieldy.

2.0
0
Time Out

Time Out

press

It's a remarkably committed effort that takes a few seriously misguided turns along the way, even as its actors lunge at psychological depth with every scene.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Not a desecration but a severe diminution of a complex literary masterpiece.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

McGregor's performance has sincerity of a frowningly oppressive kind, but the whole thing is tinged with self-pity.

2.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A haunting, engrossing, often eerily timely adaptation. It's a movie that makes you think and feel - and then think some more.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The filmmaking is prosaic when it should crackle with tension and disruptive undercurrents ...

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

It's hard to begrudge such an earnest endeavour, but this is missing the wit, nuance, and insight of a book thought by many - correctly, maybe - to be unadaptable.

2.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Ewan McGregor's directorial debut is as flat and strangled as Philip Roth's novel is furious and expansive.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Adapting Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was always going to be a tall order for any director. In first-timer Ewan McGregor's hands it's entirely unwieldy.

2.0
0
Time Out

Time Out

press

It's a remarkably committed effort that takes a few seriously misguided turns along the way, even as its actors lunge at psychological depth with every scene.

3.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Not a desecration but a severe diminution of a complex literary masterpiece.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

McGregor's performance has sincerity of a frowningly oppressive kind, but the whole thing is tinged with self-pity.

2.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A haunting, engrossing, often eerily timely adaptation. It's a movie that makes you think and feel - and then think some more.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The filmmaking is prosaic when it should crackle with tension and disruptive undercurrents ...

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

It's hard to begrudge such an earnest endeavour, but this is missing the wit, nuance, and insight of a book thought by many - correctly, maybe - to be unadaptable.

2.0
0

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