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Janie Jones

Janie Jones

Director: David M. Rosenthal

Cast: Abigail Breslin, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Shue

A temperamental musician is forced to learn a few things about family and responsibility in this comedy-drama from director David M. Rosenthal. Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) is a veteran indie rock musician whose career is stuck in neutral, and his troubles with alcohol and bursts of anger aren't


A temperamental musician is forced to learn a few things about family and responsibility in this comedy-drama from director David M. Rosenthal. Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) is a veteran indie rock musician whose career is stuck in neutral, and his troubles with alcohol and bursts of anger aren't helping one bit. Before taking the stage one evening, Ethan gets an unexpected visitor -- his former girlfriend Mary Ann (Elisabeth Shue), who has brought along with her a 13-year-old girl, Janie (Abigail Breslin), who she claims is Ethan's daughter. Ethan is dubious about Mary Ann's claims, but Mary Ann takes off for a stay in rehab and leaves Janie with Ethan, forcing him to take the girl on the road with him. Ethan's manager Sloan (Peter Stormare) and his band are no happier than he is to have a young teen girl staying with them on the tour bus, and Ethan's initial relationship with the girl is chilly. But Ethan discovers the girl seems to have inherited some of his musical talent and has a real gift as a singer and songwriter. After an onstage tantrum causes Ethan to lose both his band and his record deal, he tries to salvage his concert tour by turning it into a father and daughter act, with Janie joining him on stage. Janie Jones includes original songs written for the character of Ethan by Eef Barzelay of the band Clem Snide, while Irish tunesmith Gemma Hayes wrote the songs for Janie.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
If Crazy Heart and August Rush had a torrid night of passion and produced a love child, it would be Janie Jones, the story of fading alcoholic rock star Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) and his relationship with his teenage daughter Janie (Abigail Breslin). Writer/director David M. Rosenthal blends a musical setting with road-trip-movie elements, and paints a somewhat-realistic depiction of what the rock & roll lifestyle is really like -- dirty motels, crappy food, and dingy clubs -- which adds layers to the subtle dynamic between Janie and Ethan. Still, the film loves its clichés, and despite the fact that Rosenthal seems to be going for a subtle realism, he falls short of creating the necessary emotional impact that would certainly help elevate Janie Jones from predictable to engaging. Ethan is on the comeback trail when he discovers he has a daughter named Janie Jones as a result of a brief affair with a hopelessly drug-addicted ex-groupie (Elisabeth Shue) -- the thing is, he doesn't even remember her. When Janie's mother suddenly leaves for rehab and leaves Janie alone at one of Ethan's rock shows, he's forced to take her on tour with him and the band. With no feel for fatherhood, Ethan continues his hard-living rocker lifestyle, giving Janie a crash course in the not-so-glamorous life on the road. However, after Ethan's self-destructive behavior drives the band away, he's left alone with her. Desperate to finish the tour and revive his career, Ethan stays on the road as a solo act with Janie in tow, while her surprising musical talents help guide him down the road to redemption. Abigail Breslin gives a charismatic performance as an independent teen doing her best to deal with her change in circumstances, and Alessandro Nivola is equally impressive as a hard-drinking singer lost in self-despair. The two are not only successful as musicians -- they perform their own songs in the film -- but they are able to develop Janie and Ethan's relationship and express the emotional needs of their characters, despite the formulaic road-trip storyline. In addition to their work, the film boasts equally satisfying supporting turns from Frank Whaley and Brittany Snow, while Peter Stormare gives a standout performance as Ethan's manager and only friend. Janie Jones isn't exactly a trailblazer in this particular genre, and yet the film is a sporadically moving character drama that boasts a pleasing ambience and a warmhearted connection between Breslin and Nivola's characters.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Video Group
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Interview with the Janie Jones team, presented by American Express; Audio commentary with Director and Producers

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Abigail Breslin Janie Jones
Alessandro Nivola Ethan Brand
Elisabeth Shue Mary Ann Jones
Peter Stormare Sloan
Frances Fisher Lily
Joel Moore Dave
Brittany Snow Iris
Frank Whaley Chuck

Technical Credits
David M. Rosenthal Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Stephen Altman Production Designer
Eef Barzelay Score Composer,Songwriter
Eric Bassett Producer
Ear Candy Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Gazzone Executive Producer
Aaron L. Gilbert Executive Producer
Gemma Hayes Songwriter
Alan Heim Editor
Keith Kjarval Producer
Matt Luber Executive Producer
Shannon Makhanian Casting
Ken Meyer Executive Producer
Anastas Michos Cinematographer
Lee Nelson Executive Producer
Keith Watkins Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Janie Jones
1. Introduction [20:45]
2. On the Road [1:00]
3. "Did You Write That?" [5:18]
4. Band on the Run [7:55]
5. And Then There Were Three [8:10]
6. Entre Nous [6:52]
7. Just a Game [9:35]
8. Business Partners [8:41]
9. Little Lady [9:07]
10. Lily [12:11]
11. Homecoming [7:24]
12. Finding Love [9:45]


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