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The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2004)

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Day-Lewis, Catherine Keener, more...
Director: Rebecca Miller, Rebecca Miller
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Drama, Coming of Age
Running Time: 111 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

A young woman kept at arm's length from the world finds it suddenly appearing on her doorstep in this drama. In the 1960s, Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis) was a political radical and environmental activist who organized a self-sustaining commune on a small island off the East Coast as an alternative to what he saw as an ugly and destructive way of life. In 1986, the commune is down to two members -- Jack and Rose (Camilla Belle), his 16-year-old daughter from a marriage that ended with his wife's death. Educated by her father and isolated from "corrupting" outside influences, Rose is very close to her father, and keeps a close eye on his emotional needs as well as his health, which has been compromised by heart disease. Jack has an on-and-off relationship with Kathleen (Catherine Keener), a divorced mother of two teenage boys who lives on the mainland, and one day to Rose's great surprise, Jack announces that Kathleen and her boys will be moving in with them. Startled and betrayed by Kathleen's arrival, Rose is also disoriented by the sudden presence of outside influences and a sudden rush of adolescent lust. Rose first attempts to seduce sweet but stocky Rodney (Ryan McDonald), who opts instead to cut her long hair; she then takes up with moody Thaddius (Paul Dano), who takes her virginity. Before long, emotional war breaks out in the household with Rose battling Jack on all fronts; Jack, meanwhile, is taking a more direct tack on dealing with a developer (Beau Bridges) putting up buildings on nearby wetlands, attempting to chase him off with a shotgun. The Ballad of Jack & Rose was written and directed by Rebecca Miller, whose husband is leading man Daniel Day-Lewis and whose father was playwright Arthur Miller. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Interesting idea, bad execution by obonin December 7, 2006 - 11:45 AM PST
Some of the actors in this movie have proved to do a much better job. I think it came from the lack of character behind the dialogues. As much as the subject was very interesting to me, both the life seperated from mainstream society, and the relationship b/w father & daughter, the movie lacked maturity in the character development.

In the end the father's character is weak. We don't really understand why he acts so much like a child, and the daughter changes from being a sweet girl to being a responsible adult with no special reasons, except that she is exposed to other people that don't either have much strength themselves.

I'm trying not to spoil, but also explain where I saw that things were wrong. In the end I think the director/writer was immature in her way to transcribe her knowledge of life into her characters. It lacks depths.

A sad and beautiful world by NChavkin October 13, 2005 - 10:34 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Since Day-Lewis doesn't exactly crank movies out, and was being directed by his wife in this instance, my hopes were high for this film. Delivered, I was.

The emotional maelstrom within Lewis' character is palpable and gut-wrenching to watch. I was blown away by Lewis, as always. Camilla Belle, who plays his daughter, was the epitome of a sad, haunting, innocent beauty. Beau Bridges also piqued my interest, playing the quasi-evil real estate interloper. It's obvious that this movie was well thought out by everyone involved.

The only thing that seemed awkward, for some strange reason, were the Dylan-song interludes. I love Dylan, but his songs seemed out of place in this movie. It's almost too much; his songs carry so much weight as it is. Overall, though, this film should be cherished as a deeply affecting allegory.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.02)
44 Votes
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