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At the time of writing this review, Ginger and Rosa has a 4.8 rating!! I don't know who these voters are, but this is a very fine film: insightful, funny, and wise. The acting is across the board phenomenal. Cast spoke of long rehearsal period during Q&A and it shows. Every shot captures real life in all its expressive complexity. Elle Fanning, 13 playing 16, gives one of the greatest child performances I have ever seen - truly astonishing as well as touching, funny/sad, and beautiful. Great script, gorgeous cinematography and design, perfectly chosen period music. This is a must-see, and sure to be a break-out role for Fanning.
A film about growing up in the turbulent early 60's, Sally Potter gets
everything pretty much right. You can smell, feel and touch England in
the 60's. The characterisation is excellent, from the self-indulgent
and irresponsible adults who provide poor role-models to the young
girls who collectively endure a myriad of emotions and motivations as
they engage with a changing and insecure world.
While the film is occasionally one-paced, it is held together by the stunning performances of the two female leads. While Alice Englert is excellent as the more wilful member of the duo, Elle Fanning is simply amazing. I recall her "acting" scene from 'Super 8' which first alerted me to her talent, and this is a 90 minute performance of staggering integrity , credibility and skill. I have seen and appreciated many child or young actors in my time and wondered at their naturalness in front of a camera and how the director has got such quality performances from them but this beats all. How a 13/14 year old (playing a 16 year-old)can be this good an actor beats me. I only hope that away from the camera she grows up supported and protected or, in other words, that this is the beginning of a very brilliant career.
I don't understand, why this movie is rated that bad so far. The topic
might not interest everybody (1960, London, two adolescent girls,
Cuba-crisis), but this movie is played so magically intensively and
sensitive, I really enjoyed watching the movie the whole time.
The story is not obvious from the beginning and it is not a gay-movie, as you might think from watching the trailer. It is more about the cold war in bigger terms and problems of growing girls in family terms.
Elle Fanning is probably the best young actress of the last years! (All other actors play very convincing as well).
The directing of Sally Potter is fantastic as always. I hope the movie will be recognized as it is:
A precious gem!
Ginger & Rosa is a deceptive title because this slight tale is
intensely about Ginger (Elle Fanning), whose life is affected by Rosa
(Alice Englert), but still defined by her own sense of herself and her
notions of right and wrong.
A minimalist treatment of seventeen-year old Ginger as she faces crises personal and global, this portrait captures her emergence from happy childhood, certified by a perpetual smile, into a thoughtful young woman whose demeanor reflects her growing cynicism about the world and the people she loves.
Her London and the world in 1962 are awash in nuclear fear, crystallized in the Cuban Missile Crisis; Ginger is deeply concerned about the potential of the end of that world, so much so that she attends a rally for nuclear disarmament. Her father, Roland, is a free thinker who has influenced her autonomous thinking but whose own libertarian ways threaten Ginger's sense of the right balance as she sees it.
Leaving her mother to stay with her father in effect untethers her from maternal protection and throws her into a world where even her best friend, Rosa can no longer provide her a sense of security. As Ginger loses faith in her father, her best friend also threatens to blast her sense of proportion in a growingly hostile world.
The common antidote for this cynicism is forgiveness, as the world both macro and micro, is rife with disappointment. The minimalism doesn't always work in the film's favor, for the development of the plot, begging a full resolution of Ginger's relationship to the world, her family, and her friend, leaves me needing another ninety minutes.
Ginger and Rosa, better than any other films of its kind in recent memory, carries the angst of the '60's in to 2013, and while obsession with the bomb has faded, the disappointments of young teenage girls over the imperfect world are constant and their optimism still intact: "Despite the horror and sorrow, I love our world." (Ginger)
In 1976, Nadia Comăneci scored a perfect 10 in Gymnastics which ultimately redefined the sport and required creation of a new scale by which to measure performances. So to does Elle Fanning in Ginger & Rosa. Critics and audiences are so wowed by her performance, they're at a loss for words. In The Guardian's review used such terms as "eerily good" and "scary good." It's not a movie with a big story, it's a slice of life, teenage angst, and the trials and interactions that set our life trajectories for better or worse. It's beautifully rendered with loving attention to detail and human warmth. But don't miss this amazing performance by Elle Fanning, who is poised to redefine film acting.
A commanding performance by Elle Fanning as a teenager struggling to
make sense of the adult world in a turbulent period of history is
thwarted by a weak script in Sally Potter's Ginger and Rosa. Set in
London, England in 1962, the threat of a devastating nuclear war
resulting from the Cuban Missile Crisis hangs heavily in the
atmosphere, underscored by the film's opening frame depicting the
nuclear attack on Hiroshima, Japan in August, 1945. Ginger and Rosa
(Alice Englert) are best friends who were born in the same hospital at
the same time on the exact day of the dropping of the bomb. As
children, the two are inseparable, though each has their own
Both rebels in the making, the red-haired Ginger has dreams of becoming a poet. She is the more outgoing of the two and has an independent streak, while Rosa, though also wild, is more introspective. They take a bath together to straighten their jeans, skip school to go the beach, hang out with boys, and take risks by jumping into cars with strangers. Ginger's mother Natalie (Christina Hendricks) and her "free-spirited" husband Rowand (Alessandro Nivoa, a Bruce Springsteen look-alike) are not so accepting of Ginger's close friendship with Rosa, however, especially when she comes home at 2 a.m., but she has support from her godfathers (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt) as well as from Bella, a politically aware American friend played by Annette Bening.
Ginger's parents are having marital difficulties, mostly because of Rowand's womanizing and the growing dysfunction of her family, together with the threatening world situation, adds stress and uncertainty to her life at a very vulnerable age. Though her father prides himself on being a non-conformist and a pacifist who went to prison rather than fight in the last war, he comes across as self-righteous and, though Ginger adores him, his declarative interactions with her become irritating, especially when his "enlightened" perspective becomes a cover for irresponsible behavior.
Although they still have much in common, especially their disdain for their mothers, Ginger and Rosa take different paths as they grow into adolescence. Caught up in the nuclear hysteria, Ginger becomes increasingly fearful about her future and takes part in protest rallies, while Rosa is drawn more to the church and relationships with boys. Ginger's involvement with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament on one occasion, lands her in jail where she has to be bailed out by her godparents. Unfortunately, perhaps contrary to the director's intentions, Ginger's protests against the bomb come across more as an attempt to sublimate her anger at her parents than as a quest for a better world.
After a confrontation with her mother, Ginger moves into her father's small apartment but quickly becomes disillusioned when she learns that Rosa has becomes involved in an affair with Rowand. Her father's inappropriate relationship with her best friend becomes the catalyst for Ginger's growing alienation, leading to a dramatic emotional confrontation with her family. Though Ginger and Rosa is an intense and intimate film, it tends to indulge in stereotyping and its often heavy-handed plotting leaves little room for subtlety or nuance. It is recommended, however, mostly for Elle Fanning's performance which is remarkable for one who was thirteen years old at the time of filming.
A small movie for perhaps an even smaller audience, Ginger & Rosa is a
coming-of-age/sexual awakening tale of two close girlfriends growing up
in London in 1962 at the height of the frantic and worrisome Cuban
Ginger (an exceptional Elle Fanning) has found her life turned upside down when her squabbling parents the put-upon, under-appreciated, one-time artist mother (Mad Men's Christina Hendricks) and the esteemed, bohemian, philandering professor father (Alessandro Nivola) decide to separate and her closest friend Rosa (Alice Englert) could care less as she is more interested in wearing eye shadow and nail polish to impress the random teenage boy.
To become more active and to distract herself from her own life's unraveling situation (thanks, Rosa!), Ginger takes on the cause of nuclear disarmament after being swayed by the conversations of her mother's political activist friends (O. Platt, T. Spall and A. Bening). No matter the bigger obstacles Ginger takes upon herself, the various actions of her family and friends are what ultimately threaten the young girl and her well-being.
Ginger & Rosa is a decent film that will not appeal to a mass audience. It is a slow-moving character-study of the film's strongest character, Ginger. Luckily Rosa -- a character who is very hard to like from the get-go (selfish) -- isn't really featured enough to merit her name in the title. Some will see the film as ponderous as the young Ginger strives to find reason and purpose; but she is a realistic character and Fanning is subtle in some scenes and fantastic in others. (THIS is the more-talented Fanning sister and I have felt this way since Somewhere).
I tried to explain the "feel" of the film to a friend the other day and I said it was much like placing a pot of water on the stove for it to boil. It is a pot of water sitting on a stove (exciting!) ... just sitting there as it simmers while we get a bubble here and a bubble there! When it finally hits the boiling point -- watch out! -- because it could boil over!
GINGER & ROSA is a quiet, relatively uneventful coming-of-age tale
about two British girls growing up during the time of the Cuban Missile
Crisis. Those who want a conventional storyline with plenty of fast
action will, understandably, find it rather dull: GINGER & ROSA is
driven almost entirely by character, themes, and dialogue. Yet, there
is an indescribable magic to this film. After a slow, uncertain start,
GINGER & ROSA slowly hypnotizes its audience with very real characters
and multiple issues. The "big" global issue of the "the Bomb" is
juxtaposed very well with the "smaller" interrelationships between the
Ginger, the protagonist, is an aspiring poet, and the film itself is structured a bit like a poem. It addresses the complexities of growing up, inseparable friendship, the pain that comes when something disrupts it, and many other things. As one who's battled with depression on and off for most of his life, I found GINGER & ROSA very illuminating about the nature of despair, melancholy, and all of that.
While intrigued, I still wondered for most of the first 80 or so minutes, "Where is all this supposed to be going?" Nothing terribly dramatic ever happens, but, like a good poem, the fine ending and resolution made me glad I'd stayed with it.
It's 1962 London. Ginger (Elle Fanning) gets fixated on the Cuban
Missile Crisis, and is inseparable from her best friend Rosa (Alice
Englert). She has a dysfunctional family. Her mother (Christina
Hendricks) is disconnected from her daughter. And his father Roland
(Alessandro Nivola) is completely disconnected with societal norms.
Writer/director Sally Potter is using a minimalist approach to filmmaking. It is quite slow early on. It's actually tough to see the lack of connection and the naive talk. Elle Fanning is very compelling as the lost little girl. I do wish that the film could get going much faster. Once it gets going. Elle gives the best performance I've seen her done as an older performer.
Every character is lost here. The fact that they're so adamant of their righteousness just elevates the frustration. The only person with a clue is the doctor at the jail. The family break down in the end is disturbing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This thought provoking character study follows the everyday lives of
teenage best friends, Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert).
It begins in 1945 at the time of the Hiroshima bombing, then moves to
London, where the two girls are born. Fast forward to 1960s London
where we find a world living under the shadow of nuclear holocaust.
Writer and Director, Sally Potter, masterfully portrays the feelings of fear, anguish and concern that the world could end at any moment, through a brilliant story and moody and evocative sense of place and time.
The acting of all the cast is outstanding; the excellent Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt as Ginger's godparents, and Annette Bening, stole every scene they were in; but by far the best performance is from Elle Fanning as Ginger. In this Oscar-worthy performance, she sets herself up as 'Elle Fanning - A list actress', rather than simply Dakota's little sister. With a performance like this at only 14 years old, we should expect to see a lot more of her in years to come.
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