The Ballad of Jack and Rose

Theatrical Release: April 15, 2005
DVD Release: August 16, 2005
The Ballad of Jack and Rose


This is a love story about a father and daughter, Jack (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Rose (Camilla Belle), who live an isolated life on an idyllic island off the eastern coast of the U.S. Sixteen-year-old Rose was born on the island when Jack and her mother lived there in a hippie commune. Jack’s passion for preserving the island and running off developers like Marty Rance (Beau Bridges) has created a virtual prison for his beautiful, lonely daughter. Rose makes bread, tends the garden and takes care of Jack, who has a terminal heart problem. He decides to bring his girlfriend, Kathleen (Caroline Keener), and her two sons, Rodney and Thaddius (Ryan McDonald and Paul Dano), from the mainland to live with them so Rose won’t be left alone after he dies. Jealous of her father’s relationship with Kathleen, Rose tries to compete by throwing herself at Rodney and Thaddius. Her rebellion leads to near tragedy. The photography, scenery and acting of “The Ballad of Jack and Rose” are first rate, but the melancholy theme will not have wide box-office appeal.

Dove Review

This is by far the worst film I have seen in some time. My fear is that Hollywood in its infinite wisdom will somehow vote to give this film an Oscar nomination. “The Ballad of Jack and Rose” is a huge waste of time and money. It is very disjointed and the only likeable character in the film, Marty Rance, is portrayed as the bad guy developer. In short, most of the characters are nuts, have no clue about much of anything, and are on the fringe of society in their beliefs and actions. For example, Jack decides to bring his girlfriend of four months (and her two sons) out on the island to live with Rose and him. Now realize that Jack raised Rose by himself since she was five. Rose doesn’t even know he has a girlfriend much less that he has invited them to live in their home. What a brilliant idea! Of course, Rose goes ballistic. What in Heaven’s name was Jack thinking?

This movie goes from bad to worse scene by scene. Luckily there were only four people in the audience and two of us had to be there. I can’t even imagine why IFC Films would pay to create a film like this. I’m sure it will just end up on the shelf in Rebecca Miller’s home hopefully only to see the light of day at her family reunions. Stay away from this totally messed up film.

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: Man shoots shotgun at workers, girl fires shotgun in dad's bedroom.
Sex: Several sex scenes between unmarried couples. One scene suggests teenagers engaging in oral sex. Another scene shows a teenager reaching orgasm, then when finished the teenage girl celebrates her virginity being taken away by hanging the blood spotted sheet out on a clothes line. The daughter tries to passionately kiss her father whom she loves.
Language: F-5; C-2; J-1; A-2.
Violence: Man shoots shotgun at workers, girl fires shotgun in dad's bedroom.
Drugs: Joint is smoked by a teenager; man smokes throughout the film; LSD is referred to several times.
Nudity: Bare breasted women are seen in a few scenes. Teenager seen topless from the back and in just her underwear.
Other: None


Company: IFC Films
Director: Rebecca Miller
Producer: Lemore Syvan
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 112 min.
Reviewer: David Lukens