Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Camilla Belle
Daniel Day-Lewis
Catherine Keener
Ryan McDonald
Paul Dano.
Directors
Rebecca Miller.
Screenwriters
Rebecca Miller.
Running Time
112 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Blackwood
2 Star Empire Rating
What If
3 Star Empire Rating
Congress, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Purge: Anarchy, The
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

The Ballad of Jack and Rose
Trouble and strife in a former commune for Daniel Day Lewis.


submit to reddit


Plot
America, 1986. Sickly Jack (Day-Lewis) and his 16 year-old daughter Rose (Belle) live on the site of his abandoned commune on a remote island on the East Coast. Tensions arise when Jack’s girlfriend Kathleen (Keener) comes to live with them, along with her two sons, Rodney (McDonald) and Thaddius (Dano).


Review
The Ballad of Jack and Rose

Daniel Day-Lewis makes so few films, it’s a wonder that any can live up to the expectation of breath-held fans, and while his wife Rebecca Miller’s screenplay has many charms, this is unlikely to bowl over his followers. Admittedly, Day-Lewis’ performance as wilful, terminally ill eco-warrior Jack is pitch-perfect: there’s an exceptional scene in which he embraces his daughter Rose (Belle), a touch on her lips betraying a wealth of sexual confusion. But the subtlety of said scenes is undermined by clumsy symbolism surrounding Rose’s subsequent awakening (a snake breaks loose from its box, for heaven’s sake), and the destruction of their Eden at the hands of their worldly guests. An indulgent running time and unnecessary coda also detract from the film’s emotional impact.

Typically of Miller, the characters are the saving grace: along with the eccentric father and the dangerously jealous daughter, Kathleen’s sharp-witted, good-natured son Rodney (McDonald) is a stand-out. Keener, too, puts in an enjoyable performance as the lonely mother willing, but possibly unable, to compromise in order to find love. Although quite why a girl who’s lived alone with her Scottish father for years still speaks with an American accent is never explained.


Verdict
Day-Lewis doesn’t get much chance to stretch himself in this atmospheric drama whose characters outshine a limited script.


Reviewed by Anna Smith

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Director Matt Reeves Spills Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Secrets
What we learned from our Empire podcast spoiler special

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Kevin Feige Talks Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy And Doctor Strange
The Marvel boss updates us on the state of his cinematic universe

Keith Carradine On Keith Carradine
'Television is really the place to go if you want to do anything of substance now.'

Video: Gary Oldman And Keri Russell Talk Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Would you watch Carry On Up The Planet Of The Apes?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)