Ginger And Rosa

Ginger And Rosa

Starring Elle Fanning, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Alice Englert, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening. (12A)


Not yet Swinging, London in 1962 is drably depressing but dreamlike in Sally Potter’s arty coming-of-age drama, which veers sharply between delicately observed moments of teenaged best friends Ginger (a striking and intensely sympathetic Fanning) and Rosa (Australian Englert, who looks like a wild child from a French New Wave film of the period) and laughably pretentious dialogue in which bad free verse poetry and shallow philosophizing feature all too heavily. 


The Baby Boom Beatniks bunk off school to express teen angst and rebellion differently, Rosa being sexually adventurous and shagging any passing Teddy Boy (not really her types, one would think) in alleys and at bus stops while Ginger is terrified by the prospect of global nuclear annihilation and is afire with writing poetry and marching to Ban the Bomb. Kicking against her mum (Hendricks), Ginger turns to her pacifist, philosophy teacher dad (Nivola) but his feckless pursuit of Rosa drives her to look for sympathy and solace elsewhere and provokes an emotional crisis that engulfs all of them. While Fanning is terrific and for a spell this threatens to be Potter’s most accessible film, the inadequacies of the thinly drawn parents (Jodhi May barely gets a look in as Rosa’s exasperated mum) and dad’s absurd, pompous selfishness are as overwhelmingly bad as their lines. And why so many Americans, with their variable accents, playing Brits?


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Ginger And Rosa

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