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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 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.
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.
Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, "Ginger and Rosa" is a
complex tale of two adolescent girls, best friends from childhood,
coming of age in early 1960s England.
Ginger, so named because of her flaming red hair, is the more socially awkward of the two, and it is she who has recently become obsessed with the threat of global nuclear annihilation. Rosa seems a bit more worldly and experimental overall, more willing to take a dip in that tantalizing pool known as adulthood with all the attended mysteries - and risks - it has to offer. This creates a bit of a problem for the two when Rosa becomes romantically involved with Ginger's handsome step dad who has recently separated from Ginger's mom.
Ginger struggles to find herself amidst the Cuban Missile Crisis, Ban the Bomb rallies and the tumultuous lives of the people around her. Failed marriages, unfulfilled lives, unreliable friendships - these become the preoccupations of a young girl who has the added concern of a world seemingly on the path to blowing itself up to deal with. Or is that broader concern just a convenient way for her to deflect and sublimate the pain brought on by her relationships with her mother, stepfather and best friend, not to mention the perfectly ordinary growing pains common to adolescence? Writer/director Sally Potter doesn't feel the need to answer that question, and one of the movie's strongest assets is that it doesn't deal with its subject matter and themes in black-and-white terms. It feels real precisely because it doesn't pigeonhole its characters or provide a neat, carefully planned-out narrative for the audience to follow. We're allowed to observe these people from an appropriate emotional distance and to render our own judgment - or lack of judgment - on them. They may be screwed up, but we see a lot of ourselves reflected in them, even if we don't care to fully admit it.
Elle Fanning turns in a remarkably self-assured performance as Ginger, and she receives excellent support from Alice Englert as Rosa, Alessandro Nivola as the step dad, and Christina Hendricks from "Mad Men" as her mom. Moreover, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt and Annette Benning appear as unconventional but sympathetic neighbors who Greek-chorus their way through the film.
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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