Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 2005. IFC Productions, Initial Entertainment Group, Elevation Filmworks, Jack and Rose Productions. Screenplay by Rebecca Miller. Cinematography by Ellen Kuras. Produced by Lemore Syvan. Music by Michael Rohatyn. Production Design by Mark Ricker. Costume Design by Jennifer von Mayrhauser. Film Editing by Sabine Hoffman. Boston Film Critics Awards 2005. National Society of Film Critics Awards 2005. New York Film Critics Awards 2005.
Years after the dissolution of his commune on an eastern seaboard island, Daniel Day-Lewis raises his completely isolated daughter (Camilla Belle) without much interference from the outside world, waiting to die of the weak heart that has afflicted him for quite some time. She is completely dependent on him, insistent that without him she cannot survive, so it’s no surprise that she reacts in the most violent of defensive ways when he invites his girlfriend (Catherine Keener) and her two sons to come and live with them and bring some society to their peaceful hermitage. This beautifully shot, elegantly performed film by Rebecca Miller is overripe with symbolism and dramatic fatalism, but it does have some good performances (Day-Lewis and Keener especially) that keep it buoyant even when the weaker moments (Belle isn’t particularly memorable) drag it down.