Sally Potter’s films have a painterly quality. “Ginger & Rosa” is full of moments that would be lovely as a framed still: Elle Fanning’s pretty ginger hair contrasting with the many crumbling walls, Christina Hendricks squeezed into period dress wearing an apron, the girls arm-in-arm huddling in the wind at the seashore. There’s a great sense of place and time and some big name actors taking the material very seriously but the story, oh the story.
A young poet coming of age fearing nuclear destruction during the Cuban Missile Crisis suffers her own crisis when her philandering father begins behaving badly. The soap opera ending that derails the film has one character after another slapping someone. The audience was laughing.
Elle Fanning does a wonderful job. And her hair color was very photogenic. It’s hard to believe that by applying eyeliner, a young girl is suddenly transformed into a woman as the men in this film seem to believe. But the relationship between the girls rings true. Those shared secrets, intimate giggles and practice kissing scenes nail their closeness even before they begin dressing alike. It’s always fun to spend time with Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt and Annette Bening. This isn’t a master work like “Orlando” but it’s a fully realized world. And did I mention how pretty it all is?!
Rating: 2 pints out of 5 (British lager please)