Opening in Orlando: American Pastoral, Oasis: Supersonic and more

Opening in Orlando: American Pastoral, Oasis: Supersonic and more


American Pastoral Actor Ewan McGregor says he had wanted to direct a film for the last decade and a half, but he just couldn't find the right story. That is, until he came across American Pastoral, acclaimed author Philip Roth's story of a successful Jewish businessman whose assimilation into the American mainstream is threatened by his daughter's radicalization. Thank goodness McGregor was able to ferret out this hidden gem – which only won something called the Pulitzer Prize a full 18 years ago – or he might never have gotten behind the camera. (Somebody sign Obi-Wan up for book club.) And while I'm thinking about it, McGregor was already attached to star when the movie was the property of at least two previous directors, so it looks like I'm going to need WikiLeaks to make this story make any kind of sense. Anyway, the completed film version of Roth's Vietnam-era philosophical drama "consists mostly of people just talking," report our eagle-eyed friends at the Guardian. The picture's timeliness may be more in the eye of the beholder: My own feeling is that the implications of a young woman's involvement in the violent left of the late 1960s would have been deeper to movie-going audiences of eight years ago, when everybody was debating the extent of Barack Obama's connection to Weather Underground alumnus Bill Ayers. But maybe I'm asking too much. I mean, crap, McGregor might not have even had a library card back then. (R)

Oasis: Supersonic If you want to watch a rock act tear itself to pieces, it always helps if the lineup is led by actual biological brothers. And nobody perfected the pioneering work done in this area by the Kinks and the Black Crowes like Oasis, the fabulously successful 1990s Beatle-botherers whose Gallagher brothers were just as willing to take on each other as the world at large. Supersonic is an exploration of that appetite for combustion helmed by the same team behind Amy, the well-received cinematic post-mortem for Amy Winehouse. Boy, if those guys show up at your rehearsal with a camera in hand, you might as well call it a night. (R)

Also playing:

Good Kids A quartet of goody-two-shoes types realize they've frittered away their high school years on respectable behavior, and resolve to loosen up right away before they waste another day of their lives. Good call, because if you always follow the path of good sense and moral righteousness ... (R) 

I'm Not Ashamed ... ya get shot! At least that's what happened to Rachel Scott, the first victim of Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who, according to this faith-based dramatization, was singled out for assassination because of her strong Christian belief. Out here in the real world, that claim has been roundly debunked. But remember what it says in the Bible: A lie is just an urban legend that hasn't been saved yet. (PG-13)

A Man Called Ove The surprise international best-seller yields a feel-good arthouse comedy. A crusty self-appointed neighborhood watchman who no longer has the love of his wife to rely on is gradually brought back to caring society by his wonderful new neighbors. Thank God it's set in Sweden, because in Florida, the watchman is George Zimmerman and the new neighbor is Sybrina Fulton. And then ya get shot! (PG-13)

Miss Hokusai A celebrated manga series was the source for this animated portrait of a young Japanese woman who lives in the shadow of her famous artist father. Her coping strategies include experimenting with bisexuality and trying to find the beauty in neighborhood fires. Hey, it beats gettin' shot! (PG-13)

The Pickle Recipe The secret to a Detroit deli's popularity is fought over by a cast of comic combatants led by David Paymer and Lynne Cohen. When the movie played at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, the Hollywood Reporter called it an ethnic trifle that could find favor with "forgiving" audiences. So shouldn't it have been released during Yom Kippur? (PG-13)

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