The Ballad of Jack and Rose

Rated R 2005

The fluent writer-director Rebecca Miller (Personal Velocity), daughter of the great playwright Arthur Miller, gives us a fascinating, highly literate film about idealism, freedom, and the forms they demand. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as an unreconstructed hippie environmentalist living on an island with his sheltered, thoroughly indoctrinated teenage daughter (newcomer Camilla Belle). When their self-imposed exile is disturbed by outsiders (Dad's rudderless girlfriend and her two sons), young Rose at first resists, then begins to evolve and blossom. Can Jack, the lefty fundamentalist, yield self-determination to his own daughter? As the title suggests, a potential for tragedy looms over the piece. A bit tedious in places, perhaps, but beautifully written and acted. With Catherine Keener, Paul Dano, and Ryan McDonald as the intruders.

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The Ballad of Jack and Rose

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