Filmmaker Sally Potter’s observations of women and their relationships have almost always been tinged by the subtexts of women and how they deal with their political environment. Now her keen sense of what women want (hint: Love is never enough) is brilliantly deployed in coming-of-age story “Ginger & Rosa.”
In the pre-Beatles London of 1962, the film’s titular girls (played by Elle Fanning and Alice Englert) are 17 and unsatisfied with life. They were born the year nukes were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the threat of another war looms on their consciousness and colors their conversations, even as they engage in girlie things like ironing their hair and shrinking jeans in the bathtub.
Ginger goes to rallies and listens in on meetings held at the kitchen table by her leftist mother (Christina Hendricks). Rosa is more interested in Ginger’s dad (Alessandro Nivola), who takes the girls sailing on his boat and then looks deeply into her eyes.
Superb performances all round, but 13-year-old Fanning as Ginger is stunning. Englert’s dreamy, romantic gaze lends the film an otherworldly feel.
For a chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to see “Ginger & Rosa” at Theater Image Forum, Tokyo, visit jtimes.jp/film.