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Ginger & Rosa (2012)

J.A.A. Purves

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(A&F links to Yes (2004) and Rage (2009).)

The Daily Telegraph -

... Potter writes well about the potential of idealism to turn selfish, as a justification for betraying personal ties in the name of a wider philosophy. Period flavour is vital: the milieu feels far more lived in than it did in Lone Scherfig’s An Education, which this somewhat resembles and wholly outshines ...

Slant Magazine -

... Wisely focusing on a single historical event (the nuclear showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union that culminated in the Cuban Missile Crisis), Potter multiples its meaning as it applies to her various characters. For 17-year-old Ginger (Elle Fanning), born in the shadow of Hiroshima, it's both a very real threat and a symbol on which to project her discontent with the world, as she and best friend, Rosa (Alice Englert), born on the same day and thus into the same historical circumstances, start going to meetings and marches in their London neighborhood. The political and the personal aren't only continually mirrored in Ginger & Rosa, they're often at war. Several models of political activism confront Ginger, from her father's inflexible pacifist principles, which led him to a jail sentence for being a conscientious objector during World War II, to more pragmatic family friends, who better understand the necessary balance between social agitation and family life ...
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  • 1 month later...

Author Ian McEwan liked it:

The only auteur in cinema is the writer-director. (The director who depends on a writer dominates by mere convention.) And an auteur of Sally Potter's skill understands how to play her own written line against the "sentence" between two cuts, and knows instinctively (because the material is her own) just when to deploy silence against the rhythm of her cutting. This is what makes "Ginger & Rosa" such a pleasure. That it's writerly, that it's sensually visual, that it blends naturalism with high artifice, and that it permits her two young actors such emotional space -- all this is seamless because it proceeds from one place, one source. And this allows the thematic material to grow, just as it should, from the bottom up: youthful political passion (and also fear) is inseparable from personal growth; adulthood is no deliverance when monstrous acts can be spun out of personal "philosophies" ...
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  • 3 weeks later...

New trailer.

It seems odd that for a movie set in London, only 1 of the featured actors (Timothy Spall) is actually British. They've been taking American roles for years, of course, but British playing American usually works better than American playing British.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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