Anyone who’s seen Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures or Pawel Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love could be forgiven for predicting early on that any film which features two inseparable teenage girls in a very close friendship is bound to end badly.
seen Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures or Pawel
Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love could be forgiven for predicting early
on that any film which features two inseparable teenage girls in a very close friendship
is bound to end badly. So what can director Sally
Potter do with her tale of two girls growing up amidst the Cuban Missile
Crisis to confound such expectations?
Not a great deal it turns out, but that doesn’t
mean that Ginger & Rosa isn’t a deeply absorbing and well-acted film.
Growing up together in 1960s London, best friends
Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert) do everything together.
So when they decide to campaign to ‘Ban the Bomb’ their friendship is tested by
an unlikely and surprising act by one of them.
Of course for a film primarily concerned with the
friendship between a pair of teenagers, much of the dialogue rests of the
excellent Elle Fanning and the deeper, darker Englert, meaning the film’s
rather dialogue-heavy plot points make Ginger
& Rosa a much less active activist drama than it wants to be.
While the latter isn’t quite given as much to do in
terms of family dynamics, the former’s well-explored relationship with mother Christina Hendricks and wayward father
Roland (Alessandro Nivola) means her
character Ginger is given some added spice.
So, despite a rather brief running time and a
somewhat downbeat ending, there’s plenty in here for Potter to explore with a
deft touch, making good use of a supporting cast of which Timothy Spall’s caring godfather and Annette Bening’s supportive activist strike the deepest chord.
But really, Ginger
& Rosa is yet another strong calling card for Fanning who, after stand
out turns in Somewhere and Super 8 is destined for a rosy future.