Friday, October 21, 2016

American Pastoral Movie Review

Ewan McGregor & Dakota Fanning (r) star in American Pastoral

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: American Pastoral follows Seymour "Swede" Levov (Ewan McGregor) a legendary high school athlete, who grows up to marry a former beauty queen (Jennifer Connelly) and inherits his father's business. Swede's seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter (Dakota Fanning) rebels by becoming a revolutionary and committing a deadly act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.

American Pastoral has a lot to live up to; but credit McGregor for taking big chances in his directorial debut. I left the theater emotionally spent (Danger: Heavy material) yet thoroughly entertained. Philip Roth deserves most of the praise (it's a really good story) and McGregor handles the rest, showcasing an all-star cast (watch out for Hannah Nordberg, she's incredible) in a fast-paced, lusciously shot 108-minute runtime. Fanning is deliciously "anti-everything" and Connelly's character takes a (not so?) nice turn midway through. "Revolutions don't begin in the countryside," but this slice of Americana packs plenty of pop. Don't miss it.

Grade: B