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America in the post-war boom: Seymour Levov (Ewan McGregor) is a perfect citizen with a perfect life: a one-time sports legend at his high school in Newark, he's now a successful businessman married to Dawn, a former Miss Jersey (Jennifer Connelly) and father to the enchanting Merry (Dakota Fanning). Together, they live in a beautiful house in rural Old Rimrock. An idyll. But contemporary upheavals -- the student revolts, race riots and anti-Vietnam War protests at the end of the 1960s -- don't spare Levov and his picture-book family and in their wake Merry joins a militant group. She is accused of involvement in a terrorist attack and disappears without trace. A nightmare begins for Seymour and Dawn, a nightmare reflecting the tragedy of a whole nation.
Ewan McGregor's debut film as director is a tense, star-studded portrait of America in the Nixon era, in which everything is questioned: the social order, personal happiness, moral integrity on an individual and a national basis, and the promise of eternal growth and prosperity. A generational drama based on the 1997 novel by Philipp Roth which won a Pulitzer Prize.