Review: American Pastoral

Who are you?

Swede Levov (Ewan McGregor) was supposed to have the perfect life. He was a star athlete in high school, when he came back from the war, he married a beauty queen, Dawn. (Jennifer Connelly) He now runs his father's shop and has a beautiful daughter, Merry. (Dakota Fanning) Merry has a severe stutter, and that stresses him out a bit, but that's nothing compared to the radical anti war ideas she develops when she's 16. When Merry bombs a post office and flees, Swede is stuck between wanting to find his daughter who hates him, and trying to move on.

McGregor takes on not only the lead role but the directing reigns too. The former is easier for him. His direction is quite text book at times, but he nails the more emotional scenes. The acting from the three leads is wonderful, especially Dakota Fanning. I wish she was talked about more when it comes to Supporting Actress nominees. The film captures the 60's look well and Alexandre Desplat's score is lovely as always.

I never read the novel this was based on. From what I understand, the novel also left a lot of questions. The film does the same thing, and when it ended, while a poignant scene, I couldn't help but want a bit more.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "It tastes like your da-da-daughter." - Rita Cohen (Valorie Curry)


  1. I am so glad to hear this is decent. I missed the screening, but I was interested to hear what folks thought about it.

  2. When the trailer dropped I penciled in Fanning as a sure fire Supporting Actress nominee...and then the screenings didn't go well and the film basically lost all it's buzz. I'm glad to hear that it's good, though. I'm very intrigued by this one. I love McGregor!

    1. Fanning deserves to be there, honestly. I'm not sure why no one is talking about her. It's not as if a big part of the film is bad or anything.


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