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 Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
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
Blind
4 Star Empire Rating
A Second Chance
2 Star Empire Rating
Dreamcatcher
4 Star Empire Rating
High Tide
3 Star Empire Rating
My Name Is Salt
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
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.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

The Oscars: Who Won What?
The winners, the losers, the dresses, the suits...

The Empire Podcast Oscars 2015 Special
The team's take on the 87th Academy Awards

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Robert Downey Jr. On Age Of Ultron
Tomorrow: Mark Ruffalo talks Bruce Banner...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

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 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)