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< Entertainment >

New Movie Reviews

"The Ballad of Jack and Rose"

by Michael Handorf
Handorf@comcast.net

Daniel Day-Lewis. Camilla Belle. Drama.

Synopsis: A dying father attempts to cope with his 16-year old daughter’s coming of age.

Review: This movie showed a lot of potential, but ultimately, it didn’t deliver.

Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis) is an engineer living with his young daughter Rose (Camilla Belle) on a commune on an island off the East coast of America. But the two are the last remaining members of the commune, so it makes things difficult, trying to cultivate the land and maintain the buildings, etc.

Jack invites his love interest Kathleen (Catherine Keener) and her two teenage boys to live with them on the island. This creates a number of uncomfortable situations, as teenage boys accustomed to the conveniences of 1986 (televisions, etc) now inhabit a house built into the side of a hill with a lost hippie and his socially isolated daughter.

There are a number of ironic paradoxes in play - a commune funded by the inheritance of one of its members, a man dying from a terminal heart condition who insists on chain smoking - that adds to the heaviness of this film.

At the same time, there are strong Oedipal implications beginning to surface between Jack and Rose, and the introduction of Jack’s new lover only exacerbates the issue.

Rose’s isolated upbringing has only sharpened her immaturity, and she fully intends to commit suicide when her father dies.

The acting is good all around, as is the film’s setting. I’m just not sure if there was one theme or message that I was supposed to take away from this film. Things got muddled quickly, and were never really clarified.

OVERALL GRADE: C+

 

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