#REVIEW: “GINGER & ROSA”
Set amidst the Cold War, Ginger & Rosa is a Coming of Age Tale about two young Girls who while seemingly inseparable, are torn apart by a world of changing ideals, while the threat of a Nuclear Disaster is before them.
Ginger (Elle Fanning) experiences deep frustration living with her suffocating Mother Natalie (Christina Hedricks) and increasingly distant Father Roland (Alessandro Nivola). Determined not to become like her Mother, Ginger decides to move in with her Father, as does Rosa (Alice Englert). Matters become complicated as Rosa falls for Roland‘s tortured soul, silently tormenting Ginger, who finds solace investing her energies in an Activist Group. With fears of a Nuclear Disaster reaching a feverish pitch and feeling pressure to conceal her Father and Best Friend’s Secret, Ginger‘s world falls apart when she is forced to confront the issues tearing her apart most.
Although I personally didn’t know any Girls quite as complex as both Ginger and Rosa growing up, Director/Writer Sally Potter does a fine job delivering an emotionally-tangled Story about the beauty of Friendship and of course, the heartbreak of Betrayal. She captures masterfully the confused sexual and emotional tensions which come with transitioning from adolescent to adult. Mood is evoked through a fine selection of song and overall authentically it feels as though we are taken back to London in 1962 – with the exception of brilliant Hendricks’ sometimes unintentionally Trans-Atlantic accent. The interesting thing is that we see Ginger and Rosa‘s own irrationalities – but they don’t see it – yet the performances are so present that we cannot help but be sympathetic, especially for Ginger.
Fanning truly is a standout here and if you enjoyed her work in Sofia Coppola‘s forgotten Somewhere and J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, you will be floored by her remarkable range, especially late where she pours her heart out in full-on catharsis mode. Englert, Daughter of visionary Director Jane Campion, also delivers much promise as the dark to Ginger‘s light, in this her first major role in a Feature. Nivola is alluring and almost despicable in his self-righteousness – the mark of a strong performance – playing a pivotal part in Ginger‘s emotional unravelling. Annette Bening plays an almost-Mother in absence of a Mother in May Bella, always a pleasure to see.
Union Pictures releases Ginger & Rosa in Toronto on March 29, 2013, additional cities to follow.