Movie Seventy Five
The Ballad of Jack and Rose presents a very simple premise with incredibly complex characters and subject matter. While it certainly isn’t for everyone, I would recommend watching it for Daniel Day-Lewis alone.
Daniel Day-Lewis has firmly secured his place as one of the greatest actors of our time by getting entirely enveloped in his role. For The Ballad of Jack and Rose he plays a protective father with a Scottish accent living in a secluded area that is threatened by commercialization. If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn he was actually Scottish (he’s English) he is just so transcendent, even in the mildest of roles.
In the film, Jack (Day-Lewis) lives alone with his teenage daughter on a secluded island where he used to be a commune leader. He falls ill and his daughter Rose (Camilla Belle) becomes jealous when he asks another woman and her sons to stay with them. It’s as much a story about family as it is a coming-of-age story.
One thing that people seem to associate with this film is incest and that isn’t completely untrue. The years spent together, isolated from the rest of the world, has stunted the emotional growth of Rose and she confuses the love of a family member with sexual love. There is nothing graphic in the film and the scenes that encounter the issue do so without being blunt about it. It isn’t a matter of being sexually attracted to her father, it’s more jealousy and confusion. The story is about the love of a father and daughter, but not the sexual relationship between a father and daughter, if that helps clarify things.
Regardless of the kind of gross nature of this, I would recommend the The Ballad of Jack and Rose. The story is original while staying familiar and the acting is top-notch, especially from Daniel Day-Lewis. Don’t let the horror stories about the incestuous nature keep you from watching what is otherwise a fairly entertaining and touching story.
I give it 3 Paul Dano midriffs out of 5.