The Ballad of Jack and Rose

Director: Rebecca Miller
Screenwriters: Rebecca Miller

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


There is an artistry to the narrative vision of Rebecca Miller, one that enables her to infuse her storytelling with a breadth of sensibility and understanding that turns what might have been mundane into something truly extraordinary. Thus, her examination of one man's life in The Ballad of Jack and Rose—a man whose relentless utopian pursuit transforms not only his life but his daughter's and ultimately everyone whom he touches—is at once a powerfully moving drama, a psychological study, and a poetic discourse on a strain of idealism that was pervasive for the generation that experienced the great social changes of the 1960s.

Fueled by compelling performances from Daniel Day-Lewis as Jack and Camilla Belle as his daughter, Ballad is a depiction of both a man's legacy and a young woman's coming of age. It's a story of a man's struggle to live an environmentally correct life and separate himself and his family from the dictates of "civilization." But ultimately Jack's deteriorating health and his daughter's developing independence create real questions about whether this carefully structured existence can continue. When Jack invites his girlfriend (Catherine Keener) and her sons to his island commune, a clash with the outside world is inevitable.

Poignant and intelligent, The Ballad of Jack and Rose is a film of immense richness: evocative, metaphorical, and deeply touching. In short, it is everything we've come to expect from a filmmaker like Rebecca Miller.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]