Trailer for American Pastoral, starring Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Phillip Roth novel, American Pastoral follows a family whose seemingly idyllic existence is shattered by the social and political turmoil of the 1960s. Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut and stars as Seymour “Swede” Levov, a once legendary high school athlete who is now a successful businessman married to Dawn, a former beauty queen. But turmoil brews beneath the polished veneer of Swede’s life. When his beloved teenage daughter, Merry, disappears after being accused of committing a violent act, Swede dedicates himself to finding her and reuniting his family. What he discovers shakes him to the core, forcing him to look beneath the surface and confront the chaos that is shaping the world around him.After decades of being an actor ranging from arthouse films to big budget blockbusters, Ewan McGregor will take his first attempt at directing (a feature) with American Pastoral. The job wasn’t immediately his either, as the actor landed the gig after Phillip Noyce dropped out.
This isn’t the only hiccup the production for this adaptation has seen. The first attempt to bring the story to the bigscreen took place over a decade ago, with Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly set to play the parents, while Evan Rachel Wood had the role of daughter. As you can see in the trailer, Jennifer Connelly did return after reading a new script, but everyone else was replaced.
If a trailer was to be given a grade on how well it captivates an unsuspecting viewer, this one for American Pastoral would be given an A-Plus. For instance, I love Ewan McGregor and find both Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning to be amazing actors. I don’t think this is at all debatable. On the other hand, the story for American Pastoral doesn’t do much to drive my anticipation up for the adaptation. But then I watched this trailer.
Wowza! This is a fantastic trailer. Considering this is Ewan McGregor’s first outing in the director’s chair, it would seem that he has a knack for it. The film looks beautiful, and the trailer knows how to instantly capture our attention with a surprise explosion of a post office. Definitely did not see that coming.
Just as we recover from the visual, the American Pastoral trailer kicks off a cover of Gary Jules’ Mad World by Jasmine Thompson. It’s a fantastic choice of music, but I’m not sure why Lionsgate thought the cover would be better than Gary Jules’ rendition. Don’t get me wrong, the cover is still a great fit, just thinking Gary Jules may have been even better.