Exclusive: An evocative and beautifully shot portrait of post-war Britain, as seen through the eyes of an impressionable young teenager (Elle Fanning in a terrific, career-making performance), Sally Potter’s “Ginger & Rosa,” which just screened at the New York Film Festival and debuted at the Telluride Film Festival earlier this year, will receive a February 1, 2013 limited release from A24 Films The Playlist has learned.
A24 announced the acquisition of the provocative story about friendship and betrayal set in early 1960s London in September, following its Telluride debut and just after it finished its run at the Toronto International Film Festival. Gorgeously shot by cinematographer Robbie Ryan (“Fish Tank,” “Wuthering Heights”), “Ginger & Rosa” also features an excellent supporting cast that includes Christina Hendricks, Alessandro Nivola, Annette Bening, Oliver Platt, Timothy Spall, and in her debut feature film role, Alice Englert (she’s the daughter of Jane Campion and similar talents seem to be embedded in her genes).
Easily one of her most accessible films, with “Ginger & Rosa,” Potter has earned the best reviews of her career since “Orlando” and Fanning has also been receiving raves for her performance, including plaudits from us. We called the film “intimate and devastating” in our early fall review, said Fanning’s performance was her best on screen thus far, and named the picture one of the best five movies from the Telluride Film Festival.
While no date has been set yet, A24 will release the picture for a quiet week-long run in Pasadena later this fall to ensure Fanning and the picture qualify for the Oscars. Here’s the official synopsis which details the personal and politicized nature of the film.
London,1962. Two teenage girls – GINGER & ROSA – are inseparable. They skip school together, talk about love, religion and politics and dream of lives bigger than their mothers’ domesticity. But the growing threat of nuclear war casts a shadow over their lives. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is drawn to poetry and protest, while Rosa (Alice Englert) shows Ginger how to smoke cigarettes, kiss boys and pray. Both rebel against their mothers: Rosa’s single mum, Anoushka (Jodhi May), and Ginger’s frustrated painter mother, Natalie (Christina Hendricks). Meanwhile, Ginger’s pacifist father, Roland (Alessandro Nivola) seems a romantic, bohemian figure to the girls. He encourages Ginger’s ‘Ban-the-Bomb’ activism, while Rosa starts to take a very different interest in him. As Ginger’s parents fight and fall apart, Ginger finds emotional sanctuary with a gay couple, both named Mark (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt), and their American friend, the poet Bella (Annette Bening). Finally, as the Cuban Missile Crisis escalates – and it seems the world itself may come to an end – the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered. Ginger clutches at one hope; if she can help save the world from extinction, perhaps she too will survive this moment of personal devastation.
Below: 15 new photos from the film, plus one new clip. “Ginger & Rosa” is already out in the U.K. where it’s also receiving great reviews and marks a major comeback for Potter both creatively and commercially (additional photos on page the second page). Here’s Anne Thompson’s interview with Sally Potter and IndieWIRE’s interview with Elle Fanning.