A new film, "Ginger And Rosa," looks at how the threat of nuclear war in 1960s London affects a teenage girl. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
"Ginger and Rosa" tells the tale of two teenage girls in London in 1962, and how the threat of nuclear annihilation affects their lives.
Ginger and her best friend Rosa, played by Elle Fanning and Alice Englert, are inseparable. They were born on the same day and have been close since they were small children. But as they grow older, their interests begin to veer off in different directions.
At the height of the Cold War, Ginger is consumed with eerie thoughts that the world could end at any moment. Rosa, on the other hand, is more of a free spirit.
At Ginger's urging, the two attend "ban the bomb" rallies and along the way, Ginger gets pulled into a world of left-wing radicalism.
Things only get worse for Ginger as the Cuban Missile Crisis looms in the background. Her father, played by Alessandro Nivola, who spent time in jail for being a pacifist during World War II, betrays her in a way that I can't reveal here, as that would be a spoiler.
Meanwhile, Ginger finds some comfort with her two godfathers, played by Oliver Platt and Timothy Spall, as well as an American activist, played by Annette Bening.
Ginger desperately wants to make a difference in the world, and Fanning turns in a remarkably nuanced, heartfelt performance that's filled with emotional resonance.
Too bad the rest of the movie is not up to her caliber. Writer-director Sally Potter fails to draw viewers in and the overly solemn tones do not help the proceedings.
Bening, Platt, Nivola and Christina Hendricks as Ginger's mom are all good here. Even though the filmmaker's themes are well-intentioned, the fine actors are defeated by a movie that's uninvolved, scattered and ultimately falls flat.
"Ginger And Rosa" opens in theaters next week.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: 2 Apples