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

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.