Search This Blog

Friday, October 14, 2016

American Pastoral (2016)

Set in the turbulent terrain of 1960s America, a businessman (Ewan McGregor) and his wife (Jennifer Connelly) would seem to have the ideal life. But when their troubled daughter (Ocean James as a child, Dakota Fanning as a teenager) focuses in on the anti-Vietnam war protest scene, it becomes obvious that something is quite wrong and the rage that she channels into the anti-war movement may be a sign of something darker. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Philip Roth (PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT), this is McGregor's feature film directorial debut. McGregor has streamlined the book while still remaining faithful to it. I had a hard time buying McGregor as a Jewish ex-football player but he lucked out with Connelly and Fanning, both of who inhabit their roles perfectly. The film's topic is unusual in that it focuses on how the daughter's activism ends up destroying the seemingly perfect suburban household. Not because the parents don't share her views but it is clear quite early on that this is a troubled child and that  the rage she channels into anti-war activism may be a sign of something darker. It's not a great film but it's an ambitious one and one can see the passion the film makers put into the project. The 1960s atmosphere is excellent. With Uzo Aduba, Peter Riegert, David Strathairn, Molly Parker and Valorie Curry (this is an actress to watch!).

No comments:

Post a Comment