AMERICAN PASTORAL REVIEWED
“American Pastoral” was one of those late 90s Roth novels that limped into your local B. Dalton’s. Dalton’s was a book store that’s now a vacant lot in your dying mall. Young Kenobi Ewan McGregor makes his directing debut nailing down the mid 60s angst and rage of the novel. Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning turn in excellent supporting roles, but this is McGregor’s passive aggressive “Hardcore” turn. The results are delightfully skewed. First-time directors always seem to cut themselves off at the knees.
They tackle projects that are just a smidge too big and they can’t find that extra push. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule. It’s just that the odds don’t favor many first-time auteurs. McGregor trips up by wanting to play up the emotional impact of the film’s impact without the leg work of a solid second act. While that hurt the film’s box office impact, I honestly feel that it might have cheated Dakota Fanning out of a hypothetical Oscar nomination. Everything that Fanning gets to do, she nails out of the park.
It’s just that her motivation is skewed, as the middle leg of this film desperately throws everything at a wall. The end result is people not knowing what to piece together. I’m not sure if you can call that a success.
- 2.40:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track