Indie Gems: The Ballad of Jack and Rose

Relationship studies.

Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis) lives on an island with his daughter, Rose. (Camilla Belle) He's into living off of the land and is not impressed when new development threatens his home. Jack is also sick, and has his girlfriend, Kathleen (Catherine Keener) and her two sons Thaddius (Paul Dano) and Rodney (Ryan MacDonald) move in with them. Rose's unconventional relationship with her father tested by this and she acts out in response. This makes Jack realize some of the possible mistakes he made raising Rose.


Jack and Rose's bond is really the center piece of this film. At first we just get subtle hints on what Rose views it as, then eventually we see the big picture. Things begin to spiral out of control for the family and that's when the film is at it's best. It never once felt over the top in it's actions. Director, and Day-Lewis's real life wife, Rebecca Miller handles the film well and it is beautifully shot. All the performances are very underrated in my opinion. Belle proves she's one of the indie queens, Day-Lewis is spot on as always and his chemistry with Dano (which we saw again in There Will Be Blood a few years later) is strong. You can see why Day-Lewis requested him to play opposite with him in the later feature. I feel like this movie tends to fly under the radar when you look at the actors' filmography. It's a small film that deserves to be seen.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You've been ruined by that fucking scumbag!" - Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis)

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