A look at the lives of two teenage girls - inseparable friends Ginger and Rosa -- growing up in 1960s London as the Cuban Missile Crisis looms, and the pivotal event that comes to redefine their relationship.
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London, 1962. Two teenage girls - Ginger and Rosa -- are inseparable; they play truant together, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles, and dream of lives bigger than their mothers' frustrated domesticity. But, as the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, and the threat of nuclear holocaust escalates, the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered - by the clash of desire and the determination to survive. Written by
Ginger and Rosa supposedly ride upon a whirling children's roundabout, and yet their hair isn't blown about by the wind. See more »
I think Rosa's a bad influence.
Meaning what, exactly?
Anoushka worries about her. She says she's disturbed.
So would you be if you'd been told you were a failure when you were 11 years old!
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I bought this DVD months ago, but before I could watch it my dog ran off with it and buried it somewhere. I finally found it the other day (remarkably preserved) and read the DVD box to refresh my memory. Well the description doesn't exactly leap out at you: "Two teenage girls dream of lives bigger than their mothers' frustrated domesticity as the Cold War meets the sexual revolution..." Yawnsville, right? I was tempted to give it back to my dog. But I'm glad I didn't.
Right off the bat, "Ginger & Rosa" is an absolute feast for the eyes. I have no idea what special filters, lenses & lighting techniques were used to achieve it, but writer/director Sally Potter puts us in a hazy, nostalgic state while maintaining crisp shots and vivid colors. She used Elle Fanning's red hair to the fullest, complimenting it with an equally glowing, autumn-like palette in the background. Contrasting scenes, the colder ones, seemed bleached & blue, bringing to mind the memorable Beatles lyric "If the sun don't come you get a tan from standing in the English rain." Why am I harping on colors so much? Because, although subtle, the colors are what bring this film to life, and like my review title suggests, you can take a snapshot of any scene and hang it on your wall as art.
The story is equally captivating, not in a bang-em-up action way but in a quiet, uneasy "Catcher in the Rye" sort of way. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is reminiscent of the iconic Holden Caufield, a character with deep sensitivities coming to grips with feelings of confusion toward a human world full of hypocrisy and apathetic phonies. In "Catcher", Holden was obsessed with the impossible task of protecting all the children of the world. In "Ginger & Rosa", Ginger is obsessed with saving the world from a nuclear holocaust. As the missile threat looms with no rationality from political powers, and as her home life becomes increasingly troubled with no rationality from parental authority, she starts to come apart at the seams.
Elle Fanning truly knocks this one out of the park. I haven't seen this sort of emotional performance from a young actor in ages, if ever. Everyone did a great job of acting, but it was Elle who really took the cake. Her final scene is so powerful it makes you wonder how she conjured up that sort of emotion and if she can ever do it again. I'll definitely be following her career to see.
If you like artistic films with powerful visuals that transport you to a nostalgic, not-too-distant past, films like the Italian masterpieces "I'm not Scared" (2003) and "Denti" (2000) by Gabrielle Salvatores, maybe "The Squid and the Whale" (2005) by Noah Baumbach, another 60s British coming of age flick "An Education" (2009), and dare I mention the Spanish masterpiece "Spirit of the Beehive" (1973), then you'll really like this. Don't let your dog run off with this DVD.
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