Ginger and Rosa

Advance reviews not good: poor script, poor Rotten-Tomatoes score. Luckily I don’t often read reviews, and when I do often ignore them, as I really enjoyed the film. Sure enough, once warned of poor script you’re on the look out, and there were some clunky lines (making things too obvious), but otherwise it’s a really good film, emotionally engaging, tightly shot with lots of close-ups of faces, and intellectually interesting, showing as it does the clash between morality on a world, political, canvas, and on a personal level within families: Ginger’s father, Roland, a lifelong campaigner for justice and an imprisoned conchie in the war, can’t see how his insistence on personal freedom in love is screwing up his (wife and) daughter. And excellent performances, particularly from Ginger herself.
Afterwards our argument centred on whether the title was right, as the film was really about Ginger, not Ginger and Rosa, and, it was argued, much of the film was about Ginger’s relationships with others, which, while affected by Rosa’s behaviour, weren’t directly with Rosa. It seemed clear to me, however, that the title is right, and Rosa is the catalyst for the film’s climax: it’s the revelation of her pregnancy which directly sets off Ginger’s crise, and hence her mother’s Greek-tragedy-style suicide attempt, and hence the film’s (well-judged and undecided) conclusion.
It’s well put together: starting Hiroshima shots move to the two mums giving birth in neighbouring beds, with the two dads waiting in silence on a hospital bench; and at the end we see father 1 with daughter on hospital bench, with mum 1 upstairs fighting for her life. And it’s fears of another Hiroshima which drive Ginger’s (and, strangely, Roland’s) behaviour. It’s a film that has stuck with us.

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