Ballad of Jack and Rose
March 25, 2005
Movie of the Day for Friday, November 12, 2004
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From writer/director Rebecca Miller (Personal Velocity) comes this drama about a single widower father and his 16-year-old daughter. Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis) has brought his daughter Rose (Camilla Belle) up in a remote, long-abandoned commune on an island off the Northwest Coast of Canada. Other than Jack and Rose, the island has no other inhabitants. When Jack is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he realizes that Rose will need to learn how to cope with other people and social situations. Therefore, he makes a concerted effort to broaden her horizons, even though this process naturally brings conflict and emotional trauma into their lives.
To help Rose get situated in the realm of humankind, Jack brings a lady lover (Catherine Keener) back from the mainland. She brings her two teenaged sons along with her, and they are also a pretty important part of teaching the girl about the ways of the real world, particularly about the wonders and pain of teen lust/love. As all this is taking place, a local real estate developer (Beau Bridges) is trying to buy the commune from Jack.
An interesting note about the director/screenwriter is that she is the daughter of the rather famous dramatist Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman). Additionally, she has been married to the star of this film, Day-Lewis, since 1996. The pair met at her father's house when Day-Lewis was working with him on the 1996 theatrical version of the playwright's The Crucible. Ballad of Jack and Rose marks the first time that Miller has worked with her husband on a film. (Kim Hollis/BOP)