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American Pastoral finally gets a dark and moody trailer

The first official trailer for American Pastoral has been released, and it’s got “Mad World” on the soundtrack, so you know it’s dark and moody. Even before the overused song kicks in, the trailer wastes no time in establishing the tone, with a quiet and somber shot of a flag being raised in front of a post office and then the post office promptly blowing up. Dakota Fanning also slow claps.

Based on the 1997 novel by Philip Roth, which won a Pulitzer in 1998, American Pastoral tells the story of Seymour “Swede” Levov, a Jewish-American businessman whose conventional and simple life gets turned upside down by the social unrest and tumultuous politics that rule the mad world of postwar America in the 1960s. Ewan McGregor stars as Seymour, and Jennifer Connelly plays his wife. The aforementioned Fanning plays their teen daughter Merry, fan of slow clapping and also of disappearing. “Police have widened their search for the missing teenager Meredith Levov for her involvement in the bombing of a post office,” the radio announces.


American Pastoral—which also stars Rupert Evans, David Strathairn, Valorie Curry, and Orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba—marks McGregor’s directorial debut. Phillip Noyce had been attached to direct this project for quite some time during its lengthy development period, but he departed, allowing McGregor to swoop in. It’s a mad world, indeed!

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