I warned folks to avoid Stoker, which is still lurking in some theatres. I now have to warn you about Ginger & Rosa. Set in the early ‘60s, it’s a story that works in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it’s one big bomb.
Written and directed by Sally Potter (Orlando), as if she likes the sound of her own voice; or more accurately, a very talented cast spouting her dialogue about religion and other corny philosophizing that won’t interest you in the least.
Alice Engler and Elle Fanning (sister of Dakota) play teenage best friends growing up in England. They’re from middle-class families, and we see in the beginning that their mothers became friends at the hospital where they were born. The girls do the normal things we see kids do. They smoke their first cigarettes, they have adventures hitchhiking (perfect song choice in Appache during that scene), they drink, play Little Richard on the jukebox, and go to bomb protests.
It’s a shame that this was such a boring movie when there were interesting elements they had to pull from. The cinematography was great, and I loved the dark scenes, and some of the shots in blue hues.
The score was great, and we got to hear stuff from Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Les Paul, Django Reinhardt, and Brubek’s Take 5.
Annette Bening and Oliver Platt, welcome in any film, are merely wasted in supporting roles.
Alessandro Nivola is good as the bohemian father – a professor that sleeps with students and cries while listening to the classics – yet the screenplay doesn’t go in directions with him that are interesting. Can’t Ginger call out her hypocritical father for the way he mistreats his wife? Maybe that’s just a pet peeve I bring into my perspective, because there’s something about a character that isn’t even stepping up to properly take care of his family that is despicable.
Instead of these things being addressed, or having some humorous scenes here and there, we just have to feel bad for the poor girl trapped by her surroundings.
As I sat there watching this movie, I would cringe at how uninteresting it all was; a fight at the dinner table over cooking, conversations about religion, and all of this by unlikable characters. For a movie that takes place in this time period and has painters, poets, and protests…it lacks another p-word. Passion.
I would’ve much rather seen a movie called Ginger or Mary Ann?
This gets 1 star out of 5.