Ewan McGregor makes his directing debut and stars alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning in this ambitious adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, which was a sort of profound meditation on the evolution of the american psyche of the last few decades
The story of A “perfect” American family that is torn apart by the social and political upheavals of the 1960s. Ewan McGregor’s feature directorial debut transports us to a time of great upheaval and its lacerating effect on a seemingly ideal American family. With McGregor in the role of Seymour “Swede” Levov and a powerhouse cast that includes Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly, David Strathairn, Dakota Fanning, Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black), and Molly Parker (also appearing at the Festival in Weirdos), American Pastoral conjures a cataclysmic clash of perspectives.
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.
McGregor and screenwriter John Romano (The Lincoln Lawyer) vividly recreate an era of trauma and transformation, from the tumult of ’68 through to the outrage over Watergate. As Seymour, McGregor becomes a living container for that trauma, a man for whom the collapse of a value system manifests as a fatal sickness.