First Hit: Elle Fanning is brilliant in a strong but a little too long film.
Ginger’s father Roland (Alessandro Nivola) has a particular view of life, is verbally manipulative and wants to change the world’s perception of how to act and be. His philosophy as a Pacifist and freedom to be and act as he sees fit, runs into boundaries that cause pain.
Ginger (Fanning) grows up with a best friend – Rosa (played by Alice Englert). Together they experience their own lives and homes lives - together. Rosa’s father leaves her mom when she is young. Rosa is partly a rebel who is willing to try and experience new things. She is darker in her life views.
Ginger is lighter but equally troubled by the nuclear crises of the mid 1960’s. As 17 year old girls, they are both finding their way. They go to protest meetings, they meet guys, they drink booze, and they smoke cigarettes while experimenting with sex.
Their paths begin to separate as Ginger gets more involved with the anti-nuclear movement with her family friends Mark (Timothy Spall), Mark Two (Oliver Platt) and Bella (Annette Bening). Rosa thinks she can heal Ginger’s father’s sadness and empty heart.
Nivola is very good as the rebel pacifist. Fanning is extraordinary as Ginger. Her subtle facial expressions and expressive voice solidified her strength as a young actress to watch. Englert was very strong as Rosa. Although her role is more quiet and darker it was no less powerful and her place in the film was solid. I would expect to see her again - soon. Spall, Platt and Bening were all great in their roles in this film. Christina Hendricks as Natalie (Ginger’s mother) was very good in her performance and provided a great juxtaposition to Ginger’s father. Sally Potter wrote and directed this film and although the it was a very good film, it needed trimming to make it more crisp.
Overall: This was a very good film to watch especially because I remember the nuclear war threat of the 1960s.