The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)

R  |   |  Drama  |  8 April 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 9,166 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 68 user | 74 critic | 35 from

A father and daughter isolated on an island off the East Coast and living on a once thriving commune grapple with the limits of family and sexuality.



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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:


Jack lives on the site of his abandoned island commune with his 16-year-old daughter Rose. Jack has sheltered Rose from the influences of the outside world, but now Rose's emerging womanhood poses troubling questions about the days ahead. A man who has lived a life motivated by environmentalism and other altruistic causes, Jack now rages at those who do not share his concerns, like developer Marty Rance, who is building a housing tract on the edge of his property. When Jack invites his girlfriend Kathleen and her sons Rodney and Thaddius to live with them, Rose feels betrayed and the situation quickly becomes precarious. Rose acts out wildly, creating chaos. As everything flies out of control, Jack finds himself trapped in an impossible place and is forced to take action. Written by Christine Richardson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rose and the Snake  »

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$59,459 (USA) (25 March 2005)


$712,294 (USA) (17 June 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Daniel Day-Lewis took the role as his wife, Rebecca Miller, was the writer and director. In preparation for the role he spent as much time as he could away from her. See more »


When Jack address Kathleen at his house, he accidentally calls her by real name, Catherine. See more »


Jack Slavin: Come live with me.
Kathleen: What about my kids?
Jack Slavin: That goes without saying.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the people of Souris, Eastern Kings and Charlottetown, P.E.I.. See more »


References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »


Busted Bicycle
Written and Performed by Leo Kottke
Courtesy of Takoma Records/Fantasy, Inc.
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User Reviews

It's a movie about a lot of things, and emotional incest is one of them.
2 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is a must-see for anyone who has witnessed or is dealing with emotional incest. Lewis portrays Jack, a single father who has lived on an island in isolation with his daughter until his new girlfriend comes to move in. Up until the girlfriend's arrival, Jack and his daughter Rose have lived in isolation on an island compound.

After the girlfriend's arrival, Rose's jealousy grows, and she tries to take the girlfriend's place. In an effort to to marginalize the girlfriend, Rose takes up a new-found interest in sexuality, thinking that must be what her father wants and is getting from the girlfriend.

It's obvious to anyone watching that Jack loves his daughter, and in many ways has been a wonderful father to her. The problem is not that he does not love her, or that he loves her too much. The problem is that he's loved her in the wrong way. He allowed Rose to fill the void left by her mother. He elevated Rose to the position of spouse. Jack realizes this, and sets out to undo the damage.

The movie also deals with the dreams of reconciliation children of divorce have. Rose displays all the postcards her mother sends on a wall in the house and tells the new girlfriend that "one day she's coming back."

I always find Daniel Day-Lewis's characters engaging, and Jack is no different. He's a brilliant and eccentric man who is conflicted by the desire to love and protect his daughter, and the desire to prepare her to be an independent woman. He has the clarity to recognize his foibles, and his bumbling efforts to set things straight bring compassion to human frailty.

29 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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