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WATCH: First Trailer for ‘American Pastoral’ from director Ewan McGregor and Lionsgate

In one of the latest updates on the Oscar Prediction pages, I spoke about rumors circling Ewan McGregor‘s directorial debut “American Pastoral“.  The early buzz is HUGE, and we’re always handed a few under-the-radar surprises during the awards season.

Case in point, Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” last year.  The film was looked upon as nothing more than just an opportunity to wash the taste out of audience’s mouths following “The Cobbler”.  Fast forward to February 2016, the film beats out big films and studios to take the Best Picture prize.

The film, which will be distributed by Lionsgate, stars McGregor, along with Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly, Dakota FanningDavid Strathairn, and Emmy winner Uzo Aduba.

Ewan McGregor has never been nominated for an Academy Award, despite powerhouse performances in films like “Moulin Rouge” and “The Impossible”.  Perhaps he can finally get his time in the spotlight in the director’s category à la George Clooney.

Connelly hasn’t garnered another nomination since her win in 2001 for Ron Howard’s “A Beautiful Mind”.  Her closest run with major awards since then was for Vadim Perelman’s compelling “House of Sand and Fog”.  Same for character actor David Strathairn, who hasn’t been back since his nomination for “Good Night, and Good Luck” over ten years ago.

Dakota Fanning seemed to chasing an Oscar since her early years with impressive turns in “I Am Sam” and “Man on Fire”.  Since then, she’s expanded her horizons with fun turns in films like “The Runaways” with little notoriety.  Can this finally bring her back into the limelight?

I’m interested to see what Emmy winner Uzo Aduba does on camera, given her scene-stealing work on “Orange is the New Black” for the past four years.  Can she book end her Emmys with an Oscar?

The crew behind the scenes are particularly strong as well with Oscar-winner Alexandre Desplat (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) composing.  Also on board is cinematographer Martin Ruhe (“Control”) shooting, and Melissa Kent (“The Virgin Suicides”) editing.  The film is adapted by John Romano (“The Lincoln Lawyer”), from the novel by Philip Roth.

“American Pastoral” opens in theaters on October 21.

Check out the poster, trailer, and synopsis:



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

Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Beginners) makes his directorial debut and stars as Seymour “Swede” Levov, a once legendary high school athlete who is now a successful businessman married to Dawn, a former beauty queen. But turmoil brews beneath the polished veneer of Swede’s life.

When his beloved teenage daughter, Merry, disappears after being accused of committing a violent act, Swede dedicates himself to finding her and reuniting his family. What he discovers shakes him to the core, forcing him to look beneath the surface and confront the chaos that is shaping the world around him.

AMERICAN PASTORAL also stars Academy Award® winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) as Dawn, Dakota Fanning (The Runaways, The Twilight Saga) as Merry, Emmy® winner Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black), and Academy Award® nominee David Strathairn (Lincoln, Good Night, and Good Luck).

Share your thoughts in the comments!

What do you think?


Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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