American Pastoral

American Pastoral Information

American Pastoral is a 2016 American crime-drama film directed by Ewan McGregor, making his directorial debut, and written by John Romano, based on the 1997 novel of the same name by Philip Roth. The film stars McGregor, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry.

Principal photography began on September 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh and it premiered on September 9, 2016 at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is set to be released in the United States on October 21, 2016.


Set in post-war America, a man watches his seemingly perfect life fall apart as his daughter's new political affiliation threatens to destroy their family.


  • Ewan McGregor as Seymour "Swede" Levov, a former high school star athlete and a successful Jewish American businessman. His character is based on college athlete Seymour "Swede" Masin.
  • Jennifer Connelly as Dawn Dwyer Levov, a former beauty queen and wife of Seymour.
  • Dakota Fanning as Merry Levov, daughter of Seymour and Dawn, who commits an act of political terrorism at the age of 16.
  • Rupert Evans as Jerry Levov, Seymour's younger brother.
  • Valorie Curry as Rita Cohen, a mysterious woman who hires Merry to commit terrorism against the government, including a post office bomb-blast.
  • David Strathairn as Nathan Zuckerman, a former classmate of Seymour's brother, Jerry.
  • Uzo Aduba as Vicky
  • Peter Riegert as Lou Levov, father of Seymour and a successful Jewish American businessman and glove manufacturer.
  • Molly Parker as Dr. Sheila Smith
  • Ocean James as 8 year old Mary Levov


In 2003, Lakeshore Entertainment started the development of the film with Phillip Noyce directing it, titled as Pastoral. Later Paramount Pictures acquired the rights, and in May 2012, Fisher Stevens was hired to direct the John Romano's adapted script and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment also attached as financier and producer along with Lakeshore. Jennifer Connolly and Paul Bettany were once attached for the lead roles, along with Evan Rachel Wood as their daughter. Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi would be producers. Mandy Patinkin was attached to play one of the film's roles, and filming was reportedly begun in and around Pittsburgh.

On June 23, 2014, Ewan McGregor signed on to play the lead role of Seymour "Swede" Levov, a former high school star athlete and successful Jewish American businessman. Phillip Noyce was hired to direct the film. On August 4, Connolly signed on to play Dawn Dwyer Levov, the former beauty queen and wife of Levov. On August 6, Dakota Fanning was added the cast of the film to play the daughter, Merry Levov. In October 2015 Luke Whoriskey joined the cast as Ewan's son Jacob Levov.

On February 18, 2015, it was announced that McGregor would also be directing the film, making his debut after Noyce left the project. On July 9, 2015, Valorie Curry joined the cast of the film to play Rita Cohen, a mysterious young woman from the group of radicals that has led Merry to bomb a rural post office in protest against the government in general and Vietnam War in particular. On September 2, 2015, David Strathairn, Uzo Aduba, and Peter Riegert were added to the cast to play former classmate of the businessman Nathan Zuckerman, Vicky, and Lou Levov, respectively. Corey Stoll also joined the film for an unspecified role. On October 15, Rupert Evans signed on to play Seymour's younger brother Jerry Levov. Molly Parker also joined the film.


Principal photography on the film commenced on September 21, 2015 in Harmony, Pennsylvania.


On April 28, 2016, it was announced that American Pastoral would be given a limited theatrical release on October 21, 2016 from Lionsgate, followed by a wide release on October 28.

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 20%, based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10.

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