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Ginger & Rosa(2012)
In London in the early 1960s, as the Cuban Missile Crisis rages, rebellious teenagers Ginger and Rosa find their friendship tested when Rosa falls in love with Ginger's father, the free-spirited and unstable Roland. Ginger finds solace in a compassionate gay couple.
For more about Ginger & Rosa and the Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray release, see Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 22, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Sally Potter
Writer: Sally Potter
Starring: Alice Englert, Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening, Alessandro Nivola, Timothy Spall
» See full cast & crew
Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 22, 2013
Sally Potter's "Ginger & Rosa" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original theatrical trailer; deleted scenes with an introduction by Sally Potter; making of featurette; video interview with Sally Potter; crew interviews; cast interviews; and an audio commentary with Sally Potter. In English, without optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
There is a very elusive sense of uncertainty in Sally Potter's latest film, Ginger & Rosa, that constantly evolves. At times it clearly overwhelms some of the main characters and their lives take unusual turns. Other times it barely makes its presence felt and everyone calms down. These emotional ups and downs are what the film focuses on.
Ginger & Rosa opens up with archival footage from the devastated by the atomic bomb Hiroshima. We then quickly see Ginger and Rosa's pregnant mothers holding hands in a London hospital. Finally, we are transported to 1962, the year of the Cuban missile crisis. Ginger (Elle Fanning, Super 8) and Rosa (Alice Englert, Beautiful Creatures) are now 17-year-olds and have already started smoking and meeting boys. As radio reports about the political tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States enter the film, we are quickly introduced to Ginger's father, Roland (Alessandro Nivola, Jurassic Park III), an outspoken lecturer who has spent time in jail for his pacifist convictions, and Ginger's mother, Natalie (Christina Hendricks, Drive), a depressed housewife who occasionally tries to have the traditional role mothers are expected to have. Her short conversations with Roland reveal that their marriage is nearing its end. It is also made clear that Natalie is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
While Rosa confuses sex with love and begins experimenting with different boys, Ginger concludes that urgent action is needed to prevent the end of the world. She approaches a group of radicals and begins attending political events that further solidify her conviction that something needs to be done if she is to have a chance to grow older. Eventually, Ginger's fear that most people around her do not understand the severity of the situation dramatically affects her relationship with Rosa, and eventually pushes her away from Roland and Natalie.
The events in the film are seen primarily through Ginger's eyes. As she learns more about the Cuban missile crisis, her desire to do the things girls her age typically do gradually disappears. This new awareness then isolates Ginger and she begins to question relationships, the way people live their lives, and the different things that she has been under the impression matter the most in life.
The maturation process, however, is disrupted by different sublots that make it difficult to embrace Ginger. Instead of supporting her views, it seems like Potter repeatedly questions them and distracts the viewer with meaningless discussions involving Ginger's gay godparents (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt) and their extravagant American friend (Annette Bening). The poetry readings that are meant to highlight the dilemmas Ginger faces also erode the cohesiveness of the narrative.
Ginger & Rosa looks gorgeous. It was lensed by Robbie Ryan, Andrea Arnold's cinematographer (Red Road, Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights), whose preference for wider shots and cool and natural colors makes the film look notably elegant. The editing was done by Anders Refn (director Nicolas Winding Refn's brother), who is probably best known for his contributions to many of controversial Danish director Lars von Trier's best films (Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Antichrist).
Note: Last year, Ginger & Rosa was nominated for three British Independent Film Awards, including Best Actress (Elle Fanning) and Best Supporting Actress (Alice Englert).
Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye.
Shot with the Ari Alexa camera, Ginger & Rosa looks clean and exceptionally sharp on Blu-ray. Close-ups boast superb clarity, allowing one to see even very small objects, while larger panoramic shots convey excellent fluidity. Color reproduction is also terrific - there is a wide range of cool but natural colors that give the film a very elegant look (see screencapture #7). There are no traces of problematic lab tinkering. I also did not spot any serious transfer-specific anomalies to report in this review. Blown through a digital projector, the film also remains pleasing stable. To sum it all up, this is yet another very impressive looking release from Artificial Eye, which I am convinced will please fans of Ginger & Rosa. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English LPCM 2.0. For the record, Artificial Eye have not provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
The film does not have a prominent soundtrack. Overall, dynamic intensity is also quite limited (such is the nature of the film's sound design). Unsurprisingly, there isn't a serious gap in quality between the two lossless tracks. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and very easy to follow on both of them.
Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa is a curious period piece that recreates the tense atmosphere the Cuban missile crisis created in her native country more than fifty years ago. At times it has that dreamy atmosphere many of Potter's best films have, but it feels strangely uneven. There are a number of conflicting moods and emotions in it that simply make it very difficult to care about the film's main protagonist and the dilemmas she faces. Frankly, I think that Ginger & Rosa will appeal only to long-time admirers of Potter's work. Artificial Eye's presentation of the film, however, is outstanding. More importantly, the Blu-ray release contains a number of terrific supplemental features, some of which actually offer very good information about Potter's earlier films. (Note: Artificial Eye have also released on Blu-ray arguably Potter's best film, Orlando, as well as the beautiful The Tango Lesson. See our listings and reviews of these releases here and here).
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Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Ginger & Rosa Blu-ray - October 8, 2012
Independent British distributors Artificial Eye will bring to Blu-ray acclaimed director Sally Potter's latest film Ginger & Rosa (2012), starring Christina Hendricks, Elle Fanning and Annette Bening. The preliminary release date set by the distributors is February ...
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