‘American Pastoral’ Trailer: Ewan McGregor vs. a ‘Mad World’ in the 1960s

Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut with American Pastoral, the long-awaited adaptation of Philip Roth’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, which now has unveiled its first trailer (watch it above).

Set in the 1960s, McGregor also steps in front of the camera as Seymour “Swede” Levov, a star high school athlete who became a successful businessman, married a former beauty queen (Jennifer Connelly), and has a rebellious teenage daughter, Merry (Dakota Fanning). American Pastoral tracks the family after Merry allegedly blows up a building in a protest against the Vietnam War and “the system.” The cast also includes Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba, David Strathairn, and Rupert Evans.

Related: A Brief History of Ewan McGregor and Danny Boyle Talking About That ‘Trainspotting’ Sequel

The trailer offers a haunting first look, as we watch patriotic shots of the American flag along with images of riots and explosions. The chilling tone is heightened by almost no dialogue and a haunting rendition of the song “Mad World” underscoring the images of Levov’s “good life” running head-on into the societal and personal upheavals of the era.

American Pastoral debuts in limited release on Oct. 21 before expanding on Oct. 28, clearly hoping for some award consideration next year. Watch the trailer and place your bets.

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