Manuel here. American Pastoral, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Philip Roth has a trio of leading performers that I find myself often rooting for—despite early buzzy career moves, each have become underrated and/or undervalued players: Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning, and Ewan McGregor who's doing double duty here. American Pastoral marks his directorial debut.
I initially wanted to share the beautiful new poster for it which is haunting and simple; a perfect example of a one sheet that establishes quickly the mood of the piece. Roth's title and the film's tagline "A radically ordinary story" surely help. This is the American Dream engulfed in flames which means the nuclear family at the core of McGregor's film (Connelly playing his wife, Fanning his daughter) will be anything but ordinary.
And then I found the trailer had dropped and 30 seconds in I was already sold (which would've made a YNMS an exercise in nitpicking because even as it uses the emo song montage trailer template I immediately wanted to catch the film). I also didn't want to spoil it since, for those us of unfamiliar with the Roth novel, that initial sequence in the trailer packs a heavier punch. The trailer looks gorgeous—Norman Rockwell filtered through 1960s hazy and backlit paranoia—no doubt because DP Martin Ruhe (of Control and The American fame) is behind the camera. Also, don't be dissuaded by the creepy "VFX de-aged McGregor" greeting you below.
Though perhaps I'm burying the lede: the main reason to watch this trailer other than to hear yet another haunting version of "Mad World," is to see Fanning in full 60s radical rebel girl mode:
But what does everyone else think? Will Dakota remind us what made her such a powerful screen presence?