Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Ginger & Rosa.

Sally Potters latest cinematic offering is the story of maudlin 60’s middle class politically motivated academics who appear to live in abject poverty.  Seen through the eyes of two 17-year-old best friends, Ginger & Rosa (2012) are born to mothers in adjoining hospital beds on the same day in 1945 that the USA bombed Hiroshima. Rosa’s father left when she was quite small and her mother has had problems controlling her daughter ever since. Gingers father Roland (Alessandro Nivola) is a left-leaning academic, a conscientious objector in World War 2, a philander who has very little idea how to keep a relationship going with his domesticated wife (Christina Hendricks) and hold his family together.

The best friends fall out over Rosa's sex life.
On hearing about the threat of the Cuban Missile Crises, Ginger obsesses about the prospect of a nuclear holocaust, joining CND and taking part in Aldermaston Marches. Meanwhile Rosa is more interested in the sexual revolution and begins having sex with Gingers irresponsible father. This affair begins to drives a wedge between the two girls.

Rosa is portrayed by new comer and daughter of Jane Campion, Alice Englert and Ginger by Elle Fanning who was 13 year’s old when this film was made, both girls deserve a special mention even if Fanning’s American accent came through at times. Potter, whose best known film is Orlando (1992) which starred Tilda Swinton and was based on a novel by Virginia Woolf, must have had her reasons for casting her main leads in this coming of age drama from the other side of the Atlantic?

Gingers political conscience.
It may look like the 1960’s, credit to Andrea Arnolds DOP Robbie Ryan, but doesn’t feel like the 1960’s even with its unobtrusive jazz soundtrack. A lightweight, autobiographical film written by the director about a heavyweight subject but I can’t help but feel that Potter has missed an opportunity to delve into the psyche of the late 1950’s and the early 60’s and produce something a lot more enthralling. 

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