Janie Jones (2011)
Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) and his band are on the comeback trail when a former flame (Elisabeth Shue) drops a bomb in his lap: their 13-year-old daughter, Janie Jones (Abigail Breslin). Ethan refuses to believe Janie is his kid, but when her mom suddenly leaves for rehab, the child has no place to go but into the tour bus and on the road with the band. With no inclination toward fatherhood, Ethan continues his hard-living ways, leaving Janie to fend for herself in the dive bars and sleazy motels along the way. As Ethan's self-destructive spiral threatens to destroy his band's future, Janie uses her own surprising musical talents to help guide him down the rocky road to redemption. -- (C) Tribeca Film … More
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Critic Reviews for Janie Jones
"Janie Jones'' would feel more assured if Rosenthal had shown more inclination to commit.
Nivola and Breslin make a terrific mismatched pair in a film that often resembles a mash-up of "Crazy Heart" and Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere"...
The movie works because it's essentially an old-fashioned two-hander for a couple of subtle and terrific actors.
After a messy, cliched first half, Janie Jones is barely salvaged by the lightweight sweetness that emerges once it becomes a two-hander for Breslin and Nivola.
The indie road movie "Janie Jones" is billed as "inspired by the true story" of its writer-director, David M. Rosenthal. Impossible. No one's life is this boring.
A movie about second chances that's sweet (without being sugary) and tinged with regret.
It isn't easy to make an indie movie these days, so it's dispiriting how many wind up exactly like Janie Jones
Abigail Breslin in a shining performance as the responsible one in a father-daughter reunion.
The musical set pieces aren't enough reason to see "Janie Jones," but at least there's some payoff for an otherwise dismal excuse for a story.
Audience Reviews for Janie Jones
The Little Miss Sunshine star is a very talented teen now. This movie was very enjoyable. Good music. Touching story. A really well done Independent film....love these!More
A heart-wrenching and deeply absorbing movie. It`s the best film of its kind since Crazy Heart. A powerful and emotionally gripping film that just tugs on your heart. Abigail Breslin and Alessandro Nivola gives outstanding performances. Breslin is truly heart breaking and brilliant. Nivola is magnificent. A tremendous surprise to watch. A wonderfully written and exceptionally crafted work.More
Cast: Abigail Breslin, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Shue, Peter Stormare, Joel David Moore, Frances Fisher, Brittany Snow, Frank Whaley, Rodney Eastman, David Lee Smith
Director: David M. Rosenthal
Summary: Has-been rock star Ethan Brand is attempting a comeback when a former groupie tells him he has a 13-year-old daughter, Janie, and leaves her in his care. Janie must then convince the hedonistic Ethan to reform and accept his responsibilities.
My Thoughts: "I really enjoyed the movie and it's story. Abigail Breslin has changed into a very beautiful young adult. What hasn't changed is her great talent. She is great in this film, and her voice is great as well. She also shows some great talent on the guitar. It was a pleasant surprise. Alessandro Nivola aslo is fantastic in the film and has a great voice as well. The story may have been done before, but not with so much heart. I really felt the father and daughter relationship that started out complicated and awkward grew into a loving and protective relationship. It's a funny, touching, and honest film. The film also has some great music. A film I would recommend."
The movie starts with Mary Ann(Elisabeth Shue) taking her 13-year old daughter Janie(Abigail Breslin) to meet her father Ethan(Alessandro Nivola), who is in Little Rock touring with his band, for the first time. Whatever Mary Ann was expecting, it could have not been that Ethan says that he does not remember her, much less not claim Janie as his own, even with a copy of her birth certificate listing him as the father. So, Mary Ann forces the issue by leaving Janie behind at the concert venue, leading Janie to call 911. That leaves her with a choice of getting on the tour bus or taking a tour of the foster care system. With Ethan's assent, she chooses the former.
Even though the plot of "Janie Jones" sounds like it has been done plenty of times before, the movie finds its own nuanced downbeat way, hitting just the right notes, mostly due to the excellence of its two lead performances.(However, the less said of Elisabeth Shue the better.) Alessandro Nivola is especially good playing a tortured soul who with the departure of his enablers from his life is forced for once to reconsider his life while learning how to act around a 13-year old daughter.(Learning from watching her irresponsible mother, Janie can take care of herself while still being young enough to not have to think about psychoanalysis yet.) While the movie is subtle about its condemnation of drug and alcohol abuse, it also helps that Ethan is not instantly likable, as the movie does not take the easy way out.
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