“American Pastoral” – the Movie in 2015

June 20, 2014

Film Director Philip Noyce has been trying for 11 years to get a movie made of Philip Roth’s “American Pastoral.” The main difficulty, he claimed, was getting the right lead actor.

“Ewan McGregor will play Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov, a blonde Jewish businessman living in Newark, New Jersey, whose conventional life is disturbed by the political upheaval of the ’60s under the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. Noyce said that finding the right actor for the lead role was what has been delaying production, but he confirmed that he planned on filming the movie in early 2015 based on the existing script by John Romero (‘The Lincoln Lawyer.’)

The novel came out in 1997. It won the Pulitzer and was, hands down, Roth’s greatest novel out of his immense body of superb work. Like most of Philip Roth’s novels, it has its load of pornography. I believe that while Roth is one of our greatest writers and his pornography KNOCKS PEOPLE OUT, it is this very pornography that prevents him from winning that Nobel Prize.

In “American Pastoral”, the pornography is condensed primarily into one chapter. The director can manage it with the adeptness seen in the film “Basic Instinct” where Sharon Stone was interviewed by the police. (FYI, that policeman was indeed Newman of Seinfeld fame taking a serious part.)