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NEW ON DVD: ‘American Pastoral’ marks Ewan McGregor’s fine, if flawed, directorial debut

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WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media

Adapting “American Pastoral” (2016, Lionsgate, R, $20), Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning tome about a splintering family chasing the American Dream, would be a challenge for any filmmaker, let alone a first-timer.
But debuting director Ewan McGregor, who also stars as the novel’s hero Swede Levov, manages to pare the book down to its essence, which is a bittersweet saga of a father who refuses to give up on his troubled daughter (Dakota Fanning).

Photo by Richard Foreman
:Swede Levov (Ewan McGregor) and Vicky (Uzo Aduba) in “American Pastoral.”

McGregor can’t make an awkward framing device work but he elicits remarkable performances from his cast, particularly Fanning and Jennifer Connelly as the Swede’s wife. Extras: McGregor commentary and featurette.
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