Sue Maynard was at the premiere of Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa the other night at TIFF. In addition to being an amazing film, it featured outstanding performances from its cast – including the lovely and talented Christina Hendricks.
Wow. I promised myself that I wouldn’t write anything too spoilery in my TIFF musings, because I want anyone who reads one of these and then sees the movie I’ve written about to have as close to the same experience going into it as I did. It’s going to be difficult to convey how wonderful and amazing this film is without going into much detail – but I aim to try!
Ginger & Rosa follows the story of two teenaged girls in 1960′s London; their adolescent years being formed in an era shaped as much by love and faith as by protests, marches and the global threat of total nuclear annihilation. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is a budding poet and activist, fearing that every day could be her last as the world tries to feel its way out from under The Bomb. Rosa (Alice Englert), her best friend since birth, struggles more in her quest to find an everlasting love and to leave the fate of the world in God’s hands. Under the gentle, guiding hand of director Sally Potter, the girls soar headlong toward adulthood in the kind of lilting, musical rush that defies generational definition.
Intrinsically woven into the girls’ story are the adults who make up and shape their immediate world – most notably Ginger’s parents, Natalie (Christina Hendricks) and Roland (Alessandro Nivola). Both Ginger and Rosa are old enough to have been scarred by things that have happened in their lives, and to be constantly looking outside of themselves for validation of the women they are soon to become. Both are also, however, young enough to still require guidance and advice from those they consider to be role models; deciding now who they want to be in a few years, and who they don’t.