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Ginger & Rosa

“Teenage Ginger (Elle Fanning), growing up in 1960s London, is consumed by reports of the increasing danger of a nuclear holocaust. At home, she’s unnerved by tension simmering between her parents (Christina Hendricks and Alessandro Nivola). Fortunately, lifelong best friend Rosa is around to distract her with lessons in cigarette smoking, hair ironing and seduction of boys.
“Under the gentle direction of Sally Potter, Ginger and Rosa’s process of growing up unfurls like the anti-Spring Breakers. Slowly finding her voice as an activist and poet, Ginger learns to question authority with an innocent honesty. Rosa, meanwhile, drifts in a more mainstream direction, longing to find meaning through true love — and looking for it in a seriously misguided place.
“Her flirtation with Ginger’s charismatic father, Roland, a famous radical who’s as good at ranting against the establishment as he is terrible at parenting, begins to unravel the tight bond between the two girls. His defense of his actions as “fighting the tyranny of normal family life” makes you want to punch him in the face, but Nivola’s so charming it’s not hard to see why his wife, daughter and seemingly every woman he meets fall under his spell.
“As a trio of activist family friends, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt and Annette Bening function as a sort of Greek chorus, looking after Ginger when she can’t deal with her home life and bailing her out of jail. There’s not a bad performance in the bunch.
“As the Cuban Missile Crisis heats up and issues come to a head at home, Ginger gradually learns to temper her teenage nihilism: “Despite the horror and sorrow, I love our world,” she writes. Potter’s believable portrait of 1960s adolescence suggests she feels the same.”
- Sara Stewart, New York Post

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Ginger & Rosa

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