Daniel Day-Lewis, in his first role since "Gangs of New York" and only his second since 1997, stars as a hippie father who has to deal with an over-protected daughter who is growing into her sexuality. "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" is yet another unique picture for the dynamic actor, but unfortunately this one fails to achieve the dramatic tension it is so clearly yearning for.
The picture takes a look at a father and daughter who live isolated on an island in a community that was once a thriving commune, and both are forced to deal when a second family comes to live with them. Jack (Day-Lewis) and Kathleen (Catherine Keener) are seemingly in love, but the tension between his daughter Rose (Camilla Belle) and Kathleen's two boys could tear them apart. Rose is grappling with her blossoming sexuality, while Jack is facing the fact that his daughter cannot live with him forever.
The concept is interesting, the acting is good and the characters dynamic, but "Ballad" never completely clicks. It's hard to tell where the movie goes wrong exactly, and perhaps it really doesn't; it just lacks the spark that could have made this one something special.
If you like character pieces you may want to check out "Ballad," but unfortunately it's not the Oscar-quality work that I was hoping it would be.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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