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AMERICAN PASTORAL Adaptation is a Noble Failure

Ewan McGregor’s new adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral is a noble failure.

The screenplay has a complicated structure which keeps Nathan Zuckerman (Roth’s alter ego) two steps removed from his subject Seymour Levov (aka “Swede”). Thus reduced in the screenplay to a framing device, the Nathan Zuckerman character is unable to provide adequate context for a story which appears to run in real time from Swede’s point of view.

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