The Other Fanning: Elle acts beyond her years

by Richard Roeper

Born in 1945 in the shadow of Hiroshima, Ginger and Rosa grow up in a London of weary shortages of food, living space and cheer. Who could have guessed Swinging London and the Beatles were on the way? The girls become fast friends: Ginger, whose father Roland was a conscientious objector during World War II, and Rosa, whose father isn't in the picture.




Seen in intimate hand-held intimacy in Ginger & Rosa, they smoke their first cigarettes, lighting two on a match, ironing their hair flat, soaking in a tub together to shrink their jeans. (Remember that probably apocryphal story about the hippie chick who fell asleep doing that during an LSD trip and woke up paralyzed?)

They're part of an informal left-wing community group also including Ginger's mother, Anoushka (Christina Hendricks); May Bella (Annette Bening), a sparky leftist, and an avuncular gay couple both named Mark (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt). Rosa is played by Alice Englert, daughter of the Australian director Jane Campion, and the film's tone is wonderfully maintained by Dakota Fanning's younger sister Elle as Ginger, convincingly playing 17 at the age of 13.

Fanning becomes completely swept up in the Ban the Bomb movement's marches...(READ FULL REVIEW)