Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 2005
Directed by
Rebecca Miller
107 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

The Ballad Of Jack And Rose

The Ballad Of Jack and Rose tells the story of Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis) who lives with his teenage daughter, Rose (Camilla Belle) in an abandoned hippie commune, which has long since succumbed to changing times, with Jack the sole survivor and even his daughter, who has known no other way of life, starting to question his isolationism.

Miller's script tends to raise distracting questions at the plot level, such as why a dyed-in-the-wool recluse as Jack would take up with a working class good-time girl (Catherine Keener) and why a property developer (Beau Bridges) would be so philosophical about the destruction of one of his houses by said recluse. Such shortcomings aside, Miller, the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, has the ability to capture the complexity of human needs and at the level of characterisation and performance this is a moving account of two unusual people and their unusual relationship as they both are forced to face the fact that the times, they are a-changin'.

Day-Lewis, who is married to Miller, is, as always, outstanding in his ability to create a flesh and blood character whilst Camilla Belle shines as his equally intense offspring. I found the final confrontation between Jack and his developer nemesis a rather knock-knee'd let-down at the ideological level but as the poor guy is dying, his temporary capitulation is understandable. Whilst the use of songs may to some seem overly literal at times, the film often looks good with cinematographer Ellen Kuras making excellent use of cottage garden flowers, blue skies, sparkling water and colourful fabrics to suggest a paradise about to be lost.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst