Ginger & Rosa

Cold War kids.

Rated 4.0

In writer-director Sally Potter's British coming-of-age drama, the eponymous teenagers find their friendship tested by a Cold War adolescence, with parent troubles mounting, and life paths diverging into prayers and protests. Rosa is played by Jane Campion's daughter, Alice Englert, who supplies a distinctly youthful art-house-lady cred, but the movie's emotional power comes from a great and vigorous central performance by Elle Fanning as Ginger. After clashing with her ruefully domesticated mom (Christina Hendricks) and bohemian narcissist dad (Allesandro Nivola), she takes up with a supportive gay couple (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt) and their American writer friend (Annette Bening), only to endure a falling-out with Rosa of approximate equal enormity to the Cuban missile crisis. Potter's shabby-chic aesthetic seems sometimes more eloquent than her dialogue, but Fanning is obviously an inspiration to her, and very much at home in this heady atmosphere of Brubeck and turtlenecks and pre-adult tribulations.