Ginger & Rosa (2012)

Friendship pulled them together. Love tore them apart.

Ginger & Rosa is the new coming of age drama from writer/ director Sally Potter, Orlando (1992), The Man Who Cried (2000). This little picture focuses on the lives of two young girls living in London 1962 at the height of the frantic and worrisome Cuban Missile Crisis.

Ginger (Elle Fanning) finds her carefree life turned upside down when her quarrelling parents, one-time artist mother, Natalie (Christina Hendricks) and her father Roland (Alessandro Nivola), the respected, philandering professor, decide to separate. With a lack of sympathy from her best friend Rosa (Alice Englert), who’s more interested in impressing boys, Ginger finds herself somewhat alienated.

Not much scenery around here ...
Not much scenery around here …

To distract herself from the tough situation at home, Ginger takes on the cause of nuclear disarmament after being influenced by the ramblings of her mother’s political activist friends (Oliver Platt, Timothy Spall and Annette Bening). Although the threat of nuclear holocaust is eminent, Ginger quickly discovers that the actions of her family and friends are what ultimately threaten her life and her safety.

Ginger & Rosa is chiefly brought to life by Elle Fanning’s fiery performance as 16-year old Ginger; Fanning’s subtle yet realistic portrayal of the young woman is what truly carries this character study. Alice Englert also gives a worthy performance as Rosa; unfortunately her character isn’t particularly likable as she is rather self-centred and egotistical. Sally Potter’s script, at times, also tries too hard to intertwine politics with drama, maybe alienating those who are eager to delve into the more emotional aspects of the film. While a bit of a slow burner, Ginger & Rosa has a stimulating final act, but sadly seems to conclude without any ‘real’ resolve. Delightfully choreographed, sporting a brown, orange and green colour scheme, director Sally Potter has crafted a neat little picture, painting an accurate portrayal of England in the 60s.

'Where are the Hermione Granger auditions?'
‘Where are the Hermione Granger auditions?’

Ginger & Rosa may struggle to find an audience, as the concept of two adolescent girls living in London during the Cuba-crisis isn’t much of a seller, but Fanning’s portrayal of a 16-year old girl at the age of 14, is somewhat remarkable hopefully being a sign of a flourishing future career.

3 / 5 – Good

Reviewed by Mr. Movie

Ginger & Rosa is released through Transmission Films Australia