The Ballad of Jack & Rose

"Weak"

The Ballad of Jack & Rose Review


"The Ballad of Jack and Rose" concerns several strange characterswho just scream for something strange and unusual to say. But writer/directorRebecca Miller, daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, only gives them themost ordinary, mundane movie dialogue imaginable.

Miller sets her story, about an ailing father (Daniel Day-Lewis)and his teenage daughter (Camilla Belle), in and around an abandoned 1970shippie commune.

Father Jack and daughter Rose have lived an isolated life,farming and building tree forts, and have turned out rather odd.

Jack ordinarily spends a good deal of time railing againstan evil housing developer (Beau Bridges) who is looking to spoil the island.But for a change of pace, he impulsively invites his secret lover, Kathleen(Catherine Keener), and her two sons, chunky Rodney (Ryan McDonald) andthuggish Thaddius (Paul Dano) to move in. Although this new trio has notbeen raised in a commune, they're just as troubled as Jack and Rose, andtalk just as blandly.

With the setting established, Miller utterly fails to usethe physical space to explore the relationships between her characters.She shows hills, gardens, basements and skylines, and slaps together montagesset to old Bob Dylan songs: Jack and Rose pick berries, the wind blows,a caterpillar crawls, etc.

Were these peculiar characters taken out of their realisticenvironment and given more stylized and poetic things to say, Miller wouldalmost have the makings of a good stage play. Anything is better than Thaddeus'sreaction when Rose suddenly runs off to go skinny-dipping: "wild thing..."

Only Ryan McDonald as the overweight Rodney clues in onhis character's soul. He wears an ever-present orange windbreaker and useshis bookish wit to defend himself against ridicule. McDonald's sly line-readingsare funny while betraying a little of the character's misery.

The leads do not fare as well. Lovely Camilla Belle hasa delightful smiling twinkle in her eye, but her character wanders allover the map -- especially during the movie's uncertain climactic moment-- and there's little the actress can do to correct this trajectory.

To convey his character's heart disease, Day-Lewis getsto lose weight, walk with a stoop, wheeze and wear pasty makeup. It's ashow-off performance meant for awards season, and Day-Lewis doesn't quitefind the center.

Miller's previous film, "PersonalVelocity," worked on a more intimate level,staying close to its three truthful characters. Here she has tried to raisethe bar, but has missed out on the simple things.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $712.3 thousand

Budget: $1.5M

Production compaines: Jack and Rose Productions, IFC Productions, Initial Entertainment Group (IEG), Elevation Filmworks

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis as Jack Slavin, as Rose Slavin, as Kathleen, as Rodney, as Thaddius, as Gray, as Red Berry, as Marty Rance, as Miriam Rance

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.