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American Pastoral Arrives on Digital HD January 27 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand February 7

In Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, American Pastoral, arrives on Digital HD January 27 and on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD and On Demand February 7 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, American Pastoral, comes to Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD and On Demand in Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut February 7 from Lionsgate. The engrossing story of the downfall of an American family will be available on Digital HD January 27. American Pastoral’s all-star cast includes Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting), Academy Award® winner Jennifer Connelly (Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2001), Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga), Emmy® winner Uzo Aduba (TV’s “Orange Is the New Black”) and David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) with screenplay by John Romano (The Lincoln Lawyer). The American Pastoral home entertainment release special features include audio commentary by Ewan McGregor, a discussion with the cast about their characters
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Rocky History of Philip Roth Novels Being Adapted to the Big Screen

Philip Roth (Courtesy: Eric Thayer/Reuters

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

When it comes to acclaimed American authors, Philip Roth is right up there with the best of them—so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his work has been translated from page to screen numerous times and to varying degrees of success.

Over the years, seven of the novelist’s books have been adapted to the big screen—with two of them coming out in 2016 alone: Indignation and American Pastoral. Before that, though, there was Goodbye, Columbus, Portnoy’s Complaint, The Human Stain, Elegy (based on The Dying Animal), and The Humbling.

Goodbye, Columbus (1969)—which starred Ali MacGraw and Richard Benjamin—earned Arnold Schulman a nomination for best adapted screenplay and was generally well-received by critics and did quite well at the box office.

Portnoy’s Complaint (1972)—which was adapted by Ernest Lehman—didn’t fare that
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Film Review: ‘American Pastoral’ Should Have Been Put to Pasture

Chicago – Change can be a frightening part of life and the human experience. It is an unavoidable but often necessary transition for progress. If you fight change or innovation, the stagnation alone will weigh you down and hold you back. “American Pastoral” may deal with the themes of revolution, but that’s about all that is revolutionary or unique about this film.

Rating: 2.0/5.0

Ewan McGregor flexes his directorial muscle for the first time, but the sheer heft of the material proves to be beyond his weight class. Having no prior experience in the director’s chair, McGregor does his best with the material given to him. Inheriting the reins of this long troubled project greatly hindered McGregor’s chance at a true first impression for his directorial debut. He goes through the motions of leading this project by moving through the most overused filming techniques that film students learn in their first year.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'American Pastoral' Review: Ewan McGregor Doesn't Do Philip Roth Justice

'American Pastoral' Review: Ewan McGregor Doesn't Do Philip Roth Justice
The better the book, the worse the movie – that sad-but-true rule has few exceptions. And American Pastoral, first-time director Ewan McGregor's calamitous take on Phillip Roth's Pulitzer-winning 1997 novel, is awful enough to cement the rule in stone. McGregor and screenwriter John Romano misread the novel at every turn, draining it of life, power and purpose. Curiously, the Scottish actor-turned-filmmaker has miscast himself in the lead role of Seymour Irving Levov, a Jewish athlete from Newark, New Jersey, who is nicknamed the Swede because of his Nordic good looks – blond hair,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay
Hollywood is rarely in search of the new, so each year brings a longer list of adapted screenplays and a shorter list of originals.

Sundance launched American indie-in-Paris Whit Stillman’s witty adaptation of an early epistolary Jane Austen novella, “Love & Friendship,” which boasted rave reviews for Kate Beckinsale as a bitchy gold-digging mom, and long legs at the arthouse box office ($14 million).

Veteran indie distributor James Schamus returned to his first love, screenwriting, for his well-reviewed directorial debut “Indignation,” adapting the Philip Roth novel about college love, which performed modestly at domestic arthouses ($3.3 million). Lesser-known “Indignation” fared better with Roth than rookie director-star Ewan McGregor and writer John Romano’s film version of the better-known novel “American Pastoral.”

Writer-director Rebecca Miller’s sixth feature, sophisticated New York comedy of manners “Maggie’s Plan,” earned strong kudos at Toronto and Sundance but scored modestly on the specialty circuit ($3.5 million). Woody Allen aside,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay
Hollywood is rarely in search of the new, so each year brings a longer list of adapted screenplays and a shorter list of originals.

Sundance launched American indie-in-Paris Whit Stillman’s witty adaptation of an early epistolary Jane Austen novella, “Love & Friendship,” which boasted rave reviews for Kate Beckinsale as a bitchy gold-digging mom, and long legs at the arthouse box office ($14 million).

Veteran indie distributor James Schamus returned to his first love, screenwriting, for his well-reviewed directorial debut “Indignation,” adapting the Philip Roth novel about college love, which performed modestly at domestic arthouses ($3.3 million). Lesser-known “Indignation” fared better with Roth than rookie director-star Ewan McGregor and writer John Romano’s film version of the better-known novel “American Pastoral.”

Global juggernauts were two Disney movies that both seem animated, but only one will vie for Best Animated Feature. That’s Andrew Stanton’s Pixar sequel “Finding Dory,” an ingenious extension
See full article at Indiewire »

Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with “American Pastoral”

Later on this week, Ewan McGregor officially becomes the latest actor to turn filmmaker when his directorial debut American Pastoral hits theaters. In the lead up to its debut at the Toronto Film Festival, the buzz suggested that McGregor had a potentially Academy Award friendly movie on his hands. In fact, even I predicted the flick in a place or two. That likely won’t come to pass, but it’s interesting to note the talent that he gathered for this outing, both in front of and behind the camera. This suggests that this won’t be a one and done type situation. As such, it’s time to officially consider McGregor to be a multi-hyphenate, not just an actor. He’s in the club. The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Philip Roth. Set in 1968, it follows the Levov family through a melodramatic crisis.
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Tiff Movie Review: American Pastoral

Ewan McGregor showcased his directorial debut with the premiere of American Pastoral at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. The movie, based on the novel by Phil Roth, is a somewhat tragic tale of a family torn asunder after the young daughter gets involved with radical leftist groups in the midst of the Vietnam War. Though clearly a powerful novel by Roth, the interesting social commentary that laces it never shines through in the more staid adaptation by McGregor. There are moments of powerful emotion, but the first-time director plays it safe—too safe—and delivered a mostly uninteresting product.

The story begins at a fifty plus class high school reunion where former student David Strathairn wonders whatever happened to the most popular kid in his class—“Swede” Levov. He’s quickly informed by the man’s brother that the former prom King has just died and that his story is a sad one.
See full article at LRM Online »

CBS Developing Legal Drama From ‘American Pastoral’ Writer & Joel Silver

CBS has put in development Southern/Eastern, a legal drama from American Pastoral writer John Romano and producer Joel Silver (Veronica Mars). Lionsgate TV, where Silver’s Silver Pictures Television has a first-look deal, is the studio. Written by Romano, Southern/Eastern is based on the upcoming nonfiction book of the same name by Johnny Dwyer (American Warlord). It centers on the young and ambitious Assistant U.S. Attorneys of the Southern Federal Court District as they…
See full article at Deadline TV »

[Tiff Review] American Pastoral

If my limited experience with Philip Roth adaptations is any indication, his novels deal in emotion. There are existential crises concerning identity involved, each a character study about life’s impact beyond the surface experiences propelling them forward. This isn’t something easily translated from page to screen when so much consists of internalized motivation. You must really look into the text, ignoring plot to find the core reactionary cause for everything occurring. If a daughter’s disappearance indelibly changes every second of her parents’ lives in the aftermath, we must see their psychology driving every move — not simply the over-the-top breakdowns shoving their turmoil in our faces. Success arrives in how powerful a pause between chaotic highs and lows proves. With American Pastoral, I only felt that power’s potential.

Many will place blame on Ewan McGregor simply because he may have been ill-prepared to handle such a dense work as his directorial debut.
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘American Pastoral’ is a Grim Debut For Ewan McGregor — Tiff Review

  • Indiewire
‘American Pastoral’ is a Grim Debut For Ewan McGregor — Tiff Review
One of the most perceptive novels of the 20th century becomes one of the most ill-conceived movies of the 21st as Ewan McGregor tries his hand at directing with this ruinously streamlined adaptation of Philip Roth’s 1997 masterpiece, “American Pastoral.” It’s a disaster, but could it really have been anything else?

Roth’s writing is notoriously difficult to capture on camera, even for filmmakers with years of experience. James Schamus knocked it out of the park with “Indignation” earlier this year, but the former head of Focus Features spent decades shepherding (and writing) stories of similar sensitivity, and learned to recognize why certain texts might be — or might not be — suited for the screen.

Read More: Uzo Aduba Joins Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Others in ‘American Pastoral’ Adaptation

However, anyone who believed it was a good idea to adapt “American Pastoral” doesn’t share the same intuition. All of
See full article at Indiewire »

Toronto Film Review: ‘American Pastoral’

Toronto Film Review: ‘American Pastoral’
Much like his beloved New York Mets, the novels of Philip Roth have repeatedly frustrated the grandest hopes of many a fervent follower, at least as far as film is concerned. From Ernest Lehman to Robert Benton, Barry Levinson, and most recently James Schamus, the author’s peculiar brew of existential angst has simply proven too elusive for filmmakers great and small.

And so it proves for first-time director Ewan McGregor, whose “American Pastoral” tackles the greatest of Roth’s late-period works with obvious admiration and attempted fidelity, only to see the beating heart of the book slip further and further from his grasp with every scene. Groping for grand tragedy and finding only actorly melodrama, shooting for political contrarianism but landing instead on reactionary conventionalism, “American Pastoral” is as flat and strangled as its source is furious and expansive.

In addition to directing, McGregor also stars as the ill-fated protagonist Seymour “Swede” Levov,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘American Pastoral’ Toronto Review: Ewan McGregor Travels to Philip Roth Country, and Fits Right In

  • The Wrap
‘American Pastoral’ Toronto Review: Ewan McGregor Travels to Philip Roth Country, and Fits Right In
With his movie-star looks and his bottomless reservoirs of charm, Ewan McGregor figured to be a good match for Philip Roth‘s “American Pastoral.” The book, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and features Roth’s frequent alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, is about a golden boy whose looks and charm can obscure but not overcome the wreckage that lurks beneath the gleaming surface. McGregor chose “American Pastoral” as his directorial debut, working from a screenplay by John Romano with a cast that includes Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning. The result premiered on Friday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival,
See full article at The Wrap »

Ewan McGregor's 'American Pastoral' to compete at San Sebastian

Ewan McGregor's 'American Pastoral' to compete at San Sebastian
The film will have its European premiere in competition at the September festival.

This year’s San Sebastian Film Festival (Sept 16-24) will host the European premiere of Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut American Pastoral following its world premiere at Toronto.

An adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel about an American family being torn apart by political and social upheaval in the 1960s, McGregor also stars alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning.

The Lincoln Lawyer scribe John Romano adapted Roth’s novel. Producers are Andre Lamal, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg of Lakeshore Entertainment. Oscar-winning Alexandre Desplat composed the film’s score.

Lakeshore are handling international sales. Lionsgate has Us rights and Entertainment One will distribute in Canada.

The film will play in competition in San Sebastian’s official selection, with further titles yet to be revealed. As previously announced, the European premiere of Oliver Stone’s Snowden will play out of competition.

McGregor attended
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Steve Rabineau Moves To Wme From UTA, Reuniting With Top Partners

Exclusive: Steve Rabineau has just jumped from UTA to join Wme as a partner in the agency's Motion Picture Literary department. Rabineau, who represents directors and writers, has a strong list that is expected to follow him. That includes Oscar-winning Gravity helmer Alfonso Cuaron, Roger Donaldson, Todd Graff, Gavin Hood, Ron Hutchinson, Phillip Noyce, John Romano, Don Roos, Brad Silberling, John Waters and Simon West. Rabineau had been a partner at UTA, where he spent…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Trailer: Ewan McGregor's "American Pastoral"

Lionsgate and Lakeshore Entertainment have posted the first trailer for Ewan McGregor's directorial debut "American Pastoral".

Based on Phillip Roth's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the story follows a family whose seemingly idyllic existence is shattered by the social and political turmoil of the 1960s.

McGregor plays a once legendary high school athlete now successful businessman married to Dawn (Jennifer Connelly), a former beauty queen. When his beloved teenage daughter (Dakota Fanning), disappears after being accused of committing an act of political terrorism, he dedicates himself to finding her and what he discovers shakes him to the core.

David Strathairn, Peter Riegert, Uzo Aduba and Valorie Curry also star in the film which John Romano adapted and both Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi produced. The film kicks off a limited release on October 21st.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Ewan McGregor’s ‘American Pastoral’ Gets October Release

Ewan McGregor’s ‘American Pastoral’ Gets October Release
Lionsgate has set an awards-season date of Oct. 21 for a limited release of its drama “American Pastoral,” with Ewan McGregor starring and making his feature directorial debut.

The studio will expand the run a week later. The cast includes Uzo Aduba, David Strathairn, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans, Peter Riegert and Dakota Fanning.

Lakeshore toppers Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing along with Andre Lamal. John Romano adopted Philip Roth’s novel, which was published in 1997.

American Pastoral” follows Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete, who grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherits his father’s business. His seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by committing a deadly act of terrorism during the Vietnam War.

The book, published in 1997, is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy, followed by “I Married a Communist” and “The Human Stain.” Lakeshore has produced two
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Clooney, Spacey, McGregor titles get Swiss deals

  • ScreenDaily
Clooney, Spacey, McGregor titles get Swiss deals
Exclusive: Ascot Elite ties up deals with Bloom and Lakeshore.

Distributor Ascot Elite has acquired all Swiss rights to three buzzz titles out of the Efm.

From Bloom the distributor secured anticipated mystery-comedy Suburbicon and J.D.Salinger biopic Rebel In The Rye, while from Lakeshore the outfit picked up Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut American Pastoral.

George Clooney will direct Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Josh Brolin in Suburbicon, the story of a quiet 1950’s family town where the best and worst of humanity is reflected through the deeds of seemingly ordinary people.

When a home invasion turns deadly, a picture-perfect family turns to blackmail, revenge and betrayal. The Coen brothers have scripted the feature.

Also from Bloom, the company pre-bought all rights to J.D.Salinger biopic Rebel In The Rye.

Kevin Spacey will star alongside Nicholas Hoult who will play Catcher In The Rye author Salinger. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and Empire
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2016

After highlighting 50 films that are most certainly worth seeing this year, it’s time we venture into the unknown. While a multitude of 2016 previews simply regurgitate a list of dated releases, we’ve set out to focus on 100 films we’re genuinely looking forward to, regardless of their marketing budgets. While some might not have a release date — let alone any confirmed festival premiere — most have wrapped production and will likely debut at some point in 2016, so make sure to check back for updates over the next twelve months and beyond.

It should be noted that there are a number of films we’re greatly looking forward to, but whose release we aren’t confident about, including the next features from Claire Denis and Michael Haneke. (Rest assured, however, that we’ll have updates as they come in.)

Lastly, despite not coming out last year, as was planned, Orson Welles
See full article at The Film Stage »

Rupert Evans Cast In American Pastoral

Rupert Evans Cast In American Pastoral
He already has the cameras rolling in Pittsburgh, but actor – and now director – Ewan McGregor still has room for new cast members in American Pastoral. McGregor has added Rupert Evans to the list.McGregor took over the director’s chair after Phillip Noyce decided to pass on the film, which has a script from John Romano adapted from Philip Roth’s novel. Set during the Vietnam War years, American Pastoral follows Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov (McGregor), a once all-conquering high-school athlete, who’s married to a beauty queen (Jennifer Connelly) and runs the business he’s inherited from his dad. All seems well in Swede’s world until his daughter Merry (Dakota Fanning) joins the countercultural clamour of the time, signing up as a revolutionary and committing a fatal act of violence that throws all their lives into chaos.Uzo Aduba, Molly Parker, David Strathairn and Valorie Curry are all set to appear,
See full article at EmpireOnline »
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