Rebellious London teens Ginger and Rosa find their friendship tested against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis in this period drama from writer/director Sally Potter (YES, RAGE). The year is 1962. As the international dispute between the Soviet Union and the U.S. threatens to cast a shadow over the entire world, Ginger (Elle Fanning) seeks solace in the arts as Rosa (Alice Englert) favors such distractions as cigarettes and boys. Meanwhile, as the bond between the two girls is strengthened by their shared disdain for their respective mothers, Ginger’s free-spirited father Roland (Alessandro Nivola) encourages his daughter to protest while sparking a twinkle in the eye of smitten Rosa. But for Ginger, the pain of her parents’ breakup becomes too much to endure, eventually driving her into the company of a compassionate gay couple (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt) and their good friend Bella (Annette Bening), a poet. As the future of mankind begins to look increasingly grim, Ginger and Rosa both realize that the days of their friendship might be numbered whether the world ends in nuclear annihilation or life continues on as usual.
3 stars out of 5 — “Director Sally Potter shrewdly weaves the domestic drama — centred on the shifting dynamics between Ginger, her parents and one-time BFF Rosa — against the backdrop of nuclear paranoia and social change…” (Total Film)
“It’s an adult look at the teenage years, an examination of how personal emotions inform political action…and, most of all, the showcase for a performance by Elle Fanning as Ginger that is little short of phenomenal.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Potter has enough compassion for these girls to imply that their lives might really be just as dramatic as they think.” — Grade: B+ (Entertainment Weekly)
“Ms. Potter puts her heroines in a succession of interesting — and handsomely photographed — situations in which they define themselves by talking about what they’re up to, rather than by taking urgent action.” (Wall Street Journal)
“[Ms. Potter's] impeccable sense of color and composition, and her use of montage and careful sound design as a kind of emotional shorthand, are used here in the service of novelistic psychological realism.” (New York Times)
“GINGER & ROSA develops a strong nostalgic vibe.” (A.V. Club)