Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ginger and Rosa

Movie Name: Ginger & Rosa
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Sally Potter
Stars: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening, Jodhi May, Andrew Hawley
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Sally Potter's work is forever associated with her adaptation of "Orlando", which featured a fantastic performance from Tilda Swinton. Her newest film, "Ginger and Rosa", follows the story of two young girls, who are best friends growing up in London. By the time they reach 17, it's 1962 and the world is at the brink of a nuclear meltdown. But whereas Ginger is more interested in the salvation of humankind (and her family), Rosa is more interested in relationships, in particular with Ginger's father, the immature and self centered Roland. As the nuclear tension escalates, so does both girls lives, with each going in directions that end up having dramatic disclosures.
Sally Potter has been a director always interested in the lives of women looking for a sense of direction in their lives. Women that are coming in to their own terms, feeling comfortable in their own skins - that occurred with Tilda Swinton in "Orlando", with Christina Ricci's character in "The Man who Cried" and now with Elle Fanning's character in "Ginger and Rosa". The film utilizes the backdrop of the Cold War, to depict the slow disintegration of Ginger's family life - her father is an immature, self centered and self righteous man, and her mother resents his infidelities and a life that she put on hold to have a child. The film portrays the bohemian/intellectual side of Ginger's life (with the circle of friends her mother has) and depicts the innocent friendship and complicity with Rosa, who ventures into more sexualized territories than Ginger. The film is beautifully shot and has strong performances from Elle Fanning and Alessandro Nivola, but ultimately it never feels engaging and connected with both the drama of Ginger's sudden step into womanhood, and her family's ultimate ending. It's a flawed, yet interesting film worth investigating.