The Ballad of Jack and Rose - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ballad of Jack and Rose Reviews

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December 7, 2012
The Ballad of Jack and Rose
Synopsis: A single father tries to come to terms with his 16-year-old daughter Rose's coming-of-age. When the father's new love, Kathleen and her two teenage boys come to live with them, Rose undergoes a sexual awakening with both liberating and devastating co...
Starring: Beau Bridges, Camilla Belle, Catherine Keener, Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Jason Lee, Jena Malone
Directed by: Rebecca Miller
½ August 27, 2012
A wonderful character study about the complicated relationship between a man and his daughter.
July 8, 2012
The whole point of a commune is to gather a group of people who want to make a difference in the future. They are tired of the way society's heading and want to turn it into a different direction. But what happens to the people who believed in these types of things even after they failed? What kind of lives do they lead? Jack was left by his wife before the film starts, and my guess is because she knew the world wasn't going to change with them. It was time to adapt and move on just like everyone else in the commune. But Jack stayed with his daughter Rose. They live without electricity and separate their garbage. They still live naturally, just no one else is there to do it with them. So what happens when the guy who has lived so passionately and desired a different life meets his end? Rebecca Miller tries to explore this but fails. She gets great performances out of already great actors, then can't save Camilla Belle's horrible acting. Perhaps that's a little harsh. The character seems all over the place. Not all over the place in the way where she's innocent and doesn't know how to react to things, but she starts crying and jumping on things before they actually come up. Nothing felt genuine and her lines were all shallow. The problem lies within the first act. No real buildup. We know these two are close and living on an abandoned commune together, but that's pretty much it. So when Kathleen shows up with her two boys we don't really care too much about the problems that are obviously about to arise. And when the problems do come about they are all something that a person would have thought of instantly if they imagined this idea first. There's no subtle building up to things, it just happens. For example, Rodney decides to cut Rose's hair instead of having sex with her and then literally directly after she looks at herself in the mirror she grabs a rifle and is prepared to shoot Kathleen. Really? There is not one second where I thought Rose was a killer, or that Kathleen had driven her to such madness. You could argue that this is because Rose doesn't know how to interact with people, but I believe she was just pulled out of school 4 years before this. I believe she's 15 and we hear Jack say she stopped going when she was 11. No, she's not that socially inept. The way she acts is as if she had never spoken to another person other than her father before. We understand she has an Elektra complex but I still think it goes too far. After a while I started feeling like the movie was about what crazy antics Rose was going to do to drive away Kathleen instead of the emotional difficulties of a girl who just wants to be alone with her father before he dies. The problem lies within the lack of emotional buildup. Miller gives us interesting characters and situations, but fails to deliver on almost every level. It's a shame, really. I liked the idea. Jack touched me at times, and I really liked Rodney's character. And Kathleen had a good complexity to her. I just don't think anything ever reaches its potential.
July 2, 2012
That was a strange little movie. Just loved the shinanigans that happened when the boys moved in. I can't beleive he was serious about the whole idea. It was doomed from the very beginning. I enjoyed the movie, but it doesn't sell to me the self sufficient lifestyle
June 16, 2012 it over yet...Yup pretty much sums up my feelings
June 16, 2012
Wow what a slow paced, meandering piece of soapy drivel.
½ April 19, 2012
This film was great. Enough Said.
½ February 8, 2012
I liked the story it was something different 2 me
½ January 28, 2012
Stagnant story of an alternative lifestyle, which fails to hit the emotional heights it is clearly trying to achieve.
½ January 10, 2012
this movie was veeeeerrrryyyy interesting...lets just say that...but oddly enough it was good...especially Daniel Day-Lewis...the relationship between father and daughter shown here is an oddly strong and close bond which either way I admire the fact that a father is shown in a good light in this movie...i think Rebecca Miller did a great job...oh and the soundtrack kicks ass!!!
December 31, 2011
Very different and interesting. Can't recommend it to everyone, but if you have an open mind, it's worth the time.
December 25, 2011
strange but a strange way...
½ December 17, 2011
Took me a second viewing to enjoy this. What ruined it originally for me was how deranged the daughter was. You've really gotta put yourself in each character's shoes to at least somewhat enjoy this. All the acting in this is really solid. The story dodges alot of old cliches and goes for some refreshing originality.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2011
A hermetic father and daughter, who are committed to green living on an island threatened by development, adjust to the father's decision to have his girlfriend and her family move in.
What more can we say about Daniel Day-Lewis? He's an intense force who is always interesting, engaged, and committed, capable of menace and love with equal believability. The scenes in this film when he locks eyes with is daughter are some of the most charming and heart-breaking moments I've seen in a while. There's no doubt that he's the best reason to watch this film; although, there are also strong performances by Camilla Belle, Paul Dano (of course), and Catherine Keener.
The story, however, is quite flawed. After Kathleen and her sons move in, there is a plot about either Rose's awakening sexuality or Rose using sexuality to resist her father's decision -- I'm not sure which. Either way, that decision doesn't make much sense considering what we know about Rose and Jack. Also, the Electra Complex moments were not only appropriately creepy, but they also seemed unmotivated, coming from nowhere and denying all that we knew and liked about the characters. Finally, I found the ending to be unnecessarily sappy.
Overall, if you liked Daniel Day-Lewis's other work, then you'll likely find value in this performance as well.
November 23, 2011
Wait... this isnt about Titanic ;) giggidy giggidy goo
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2011
This is the story of a bohemian environmentalist named Jack who lives alone on an island off the east coast of the U.S. on the remnants of an abandoned commune with his young teenaged daughter Rose. He suffers from a ad heart and is nearing close to death, and she knows nothing of life outside her isolated world on the island. No one else lives there, but they get an occasional visitor, though from a guy who brigns flowers for the girl's garden.Despite their isolation and his sickness, they have a good thing going. All of that changes however when he invites his secret mainland girlfriend and her two teenaged sons to comes to the island to live with them. Jack's intentions are good but maybe a little misguided since he doesn't have much time left and he wants Rose to have a mother figure and someone to give her guidance after he passes, but he's not prepared for the consequences of changing her world, which she doesn't want to change at all.

This is basically a study in familial bonds, trying to create and maintain a utopia, and having to deal wih all that comes up when challenges arise. It's definitely an interesting premise, and it toys with some neat ideas and concepts, but I don't think it's quite as good as the similar film The Mosquito Coast. Still though, despite some issues, it's an okay enough movie to warrant a watch.

The cast has a few notables, namely writer/director Rebecca Miller's husband Daniel Day-Lewis, Camilla Belle, the always great Catherine Keener, and appearances by Paul Dano, Jena Malone, Jason Lee, and Beau Bridges. Not a bad lot at all. They give some decent performances too. However, some of the writing is a little uneven, the characters aren't always as sympathetic as they should be, and thigns could be fleshed out a little more and better.

But, it does have some really good cinematography, and the music is notable too, including two covers of "I Put a Spell on You" (one jazz, the other the CCR version (which opens the film)), and three songs by Bob Dylan among others. I liked what they were trying to do with this film, and i have to say that no, this isn't a film aout incest, although it is about trying to deal with those sort of issues. It's got material worht thinking about and discussing, even if how it is done is a little weak and could have been handled better.

Overall, not bad, despite the problems. If you're in the mood for a quiet, introspective, and sometimes quite solemn indie drama, then give this one a go.
September 6, 2011
A great Dylan filled soundtrack, beautiful photography, terrific performance from Day-Lewis and an intriguing premise make this a mini-gem for those who happen to see it.
August 18, 2011
Cast was excellent, DDL is one of my favs. Story won't appeal to all very quirky...typical offbeat indie flick, I liked it didn't love it, ok for one viewing.
½ July 24, 2011
One of the weirdest movies I've ever seen...
July 13, 2011
Daniel Day-Lewis performs a very sadden and deep performance in this very different kind of movie. Yet, with flaws should be enjoyed by true movie lovers.
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