Ginger & Rosa

The title of Sally Potter’s 2012 drama suggests it examines a female friendship, and I guess it does to a certain extent, though really 17-year-old Ginger (Elle Fanning) is the main focus of this film and the narrative examines her changing relationships with everyone around her: close friend Rosa (Alice Englert), troubled, taken-for-granted mum Natalie (Christina Hendricks) and wishy-washy boho father Roland (Alessandro Nivola), as well as various family friends and acquaintances. It’s set in an England that is not yet dreaming and is instead very much concerned with the Cold War and the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world; Ginger and Rosa both fall into a world of angry meetings and protest marches, the former seemingly genuinely, the latter perhaps drawn ever-so-slightly by the presence of cute, older men. The cast is good – particularly Fanning – and Robbie Ryan’s cinematography typically sound, but I wasn’t quite drawn in as much as I’d hoped to be, and eventually started thinking about a better English drama that deals with similar subject matter during the same period: An Education. (**½)