Ginger & Rosa

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Ginger & Rosa
Ginger & Rosa Poster.jpg
Directed bySally Potter
Written bySally Potter
Produced byChristopher Sheppard
Andrew Litvin
CinematographyRobbie Ryan
Edited byAnders Refn
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 7 September 2012 (2012-09-07) (Toronto)
  • 19 October 2012 (2012-10-19) (United Kingdom)
  • 15 March 2013 (2013-03-15) (United States)
  • 29 March 2013 (2013-03-29) (Canada)
  • 11 April 2013 (2013-04-11) (Denmark)
Running time
90 minutes[2]
CountriesUnited Kingdom
Box office$1.7 million[3]

Ginger & Rosa is a 2012 drama film written and directed by Sally Potter and distributed by Artificial Eye.[4] The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2012,[5] and was released on 19 October 2012 in the United Kingdom.[6]


In 1945, teenager Nat is giving birth in a hospital bed. Whilst she is in labour, Anoushka—the pregnant woman in the next bed—reaches out and takes her hand, beginning a lifelong friendship. Nat's daughter, Ginger, and Anoushka's daughter, Rosa, grow up and become close friends. Rosa's father leaves whilst she's still a child, profoundly affecting her view of relationships.

By 1962, 17-year-old Ginger and Rosa are spending all their time together, and even dressing the same. Rosa begins drinking and behaving promiscuously. Nat disapproves of their friendship, as she thinks Rosa is a bad influence. Ginger's father, Roland, takes the opposite view to Nat and encourages his daughter's wildness and independence. Roland and Nat are having trouble in their marriage and have broken up often in the past. Roland is an attractive, free-spirited professor who is implied to have been unfaithful several times. Meanwhile, Nat gave up a possible career as a painter to raise Ginger, and often feels resentful and bored.

Rosa and Ginger attend different schools, due to Rosa failing the eleven-plus exam, which Ginger passed. However, they often skip school to spend time together, and Ginger's grades suffer as a result. Ginger, who dreams of being a poet, starts to become interested in the anti-nuclear movement and attends rally meetings. Despite her wild behaviour, Rosa is a practising Catholic, and she takes Ginger to church so they can pray for the world together. During this time, Ginger is supported emotionally by her two godfathers, who are both named "Mark". She also befriends an older woman named Bella who encourages her anti-nuclear sympathies.

Soon after this, Ginger's parents break up after an argument over dinner. Roland moves out and enjoys his independent, bohemian lifestyle more. Nat visits Ginger's school and suggests that the school ought to offer more "Domestic Science" classes, which one of the teachers informs Ginger of. Nat believes that her daughter will eventually become a housewife, and she wants Ginger to be better prepared than she herself was. Ginger and Nat argue over this, and Ginger moves in with her father.

Rosa begins spending more time with Roland after a boat trip the three take together, following which she writes him a letter telling him she understands his pain. After Ginger has moved in with him, Rosa begins a relationship with him. Ginger is disturbed by the romance between her father and best friend. She is tempted to leave Roland's home and move back in with her mother, but she changes her mind after seeing Nat is happy and has begun painting again. Roland knows his behaviour is making his daughter unhappy, but while he sympathises with her sadness, he does not stop the affair. Rosa believes that she and Roland will have everlasting love, but Ginger tells her she will end up like Nat, with Roland leaving her when she gets old. Rosa tells Ginger that she thinks she's pregnant. Ginger is devastated and runs off to a protest rally, where she is arrested. In the prison, a psychiatrist comes in to talk with her, but she won't speak. He tells the two Marks and Bella that he believes her protest activity is a cover, and that he believes she has a severe mental illness. Mark II says that on the contrary, she is quite sane.

Roland and Nat and their family friends confront Ginger, who reveals that she has a terrible fear that the world is going to end. In reality, Ginger's growing worries about the world are masking her greater fear of what's happening between Roland and Rosa. As Ginger blurts out the truth of the affair, Nat is devastated. Ginger's two godfathers confront Roland and accuse him of acting irresponsibly towards his daughter, but he replies that Ginger is an independent adult. They try to show Roland that Ginger still needs a responsible father figure.

Rosa and her mother then arrive at the house, where Nat confronts Rosa. Seeing Rosa clutch her stomach, Nat deduces that she's pregnant and runs upstairs. Ginger and Mark follow her, but she has locked the door. They call Roland, who breaks the door in, and they find that Nat, though still conscious, has taken an overdose, she is then rushed to hospital. Rosa asks Ginger to forgive her, but Ginger doesn't answer, simply walking off instead.

As Roland and Ginger wait for news of Nat in the hospital, Ginger writes a letter to Rosa, in the form of a poem. In it, she discusses their friendship and differing outlooks, pointing out that Rosa dreams of "everlasting love", whilst Ginger "loves this world". The poem ends on a hopeful note: Ginger tells Rosa that if everything works out, then there will be nothing to forgive, but she'll forgive her anyway. Roland awakens from his slumber on the bench next to Ginger's one and apologises to her saying he is sorry. Ginger turns away from him and continues writing her poem to Rosa.



Ginger & Rosa shot at several locations in Kent including Denge Marsh acoustic mirrors at RAF Denge, Lydd-on-Sea, Lade Beach, Greatstone-on-Sea, Lydd Ranges, Lydd, and Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey.[7] The film is dedicated: "In loving memory of Caroline Potter (1930-2010)" who was the director's mother.


The film was released in select theaters in the United States on March 15, 2015 by A24. It later received a VOD and DVD-exclusive release in the United States by Lions Gate Home Entertainment.


Critical response[edit]

Ginger & Rosa received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 78% based on reviews from 114 critics, with an average rating of 6.74/10. The site's consensus is that "Elle Fanning gives a terrific performance in this powerful coming-of-age tale about a pair of teenage girls whose friendship is unnerved by the threat of nuclear war."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 69 out of 100 based on reviews from 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[9]

A.O. Scott of the New York Times praised Fanning for her performance: "Ms. Fanning, who is younger than her character, shows a nearly Streepian mixture of poise, intensity and technical precision. It is frightening how good she is and hard to imagine anything she could not do."[10] Ty Burr, film critic for The Boston Globe, praised her "luminous naturalism that seems the opposite of performance" and felt that "Fanning easily convinces you of Ginger's emotional reality."[11] Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times gave it 3 out of 4 and wrote: "It's a portrait of a time and place, characters keeping company around a simple kitchen table, and the helplessness adolescents feel when faced with the priorities of those in power. What I'll take away from it is the knowledge that now the Fannings have given us two actresses of such potential."[12] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote: "This is a teenage movie that could in other hands have been precious; instead it has delicacy and intelligence."[13]

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote: ""Potter seems at a loss to communicate the ideas behind her agonizingly elliptical picture, leaving auds to marvel at the gorgeous cinematography and scarlet-red hair of its heroine, earnestly played by Elle Fanning in a project undeserving of her talents."[14]

Swedish critic Pidde Andersson compared the film favourably to the films of Jean Rollin.[15]


Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2012 Abu Dhabi Film Festival Best Narrative Film Sally Potter Nominated
2012 London Film Festival Best Film Nominated
2012 Valladolid International Film Festival Best Film Nominated
2012 Best Actress Elle Fanning Won
2012 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Special Mention Sally Potter Won
2012 British Independent Film Awards Best Actress Elle Fanning Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Alice Englert Nominated
Best Cinematography Robbie Ryan Nominated
2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Young Performer Elle Fanning Nominated
2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award Won
2013 Women Film Critics Circle Best Young Actress Nominated
2013 Best Female Ensemble Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Jodhi May,
Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening


  1. ^ "Ginger & Rosa (2012)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  2. ^ "GINGER & ROSA (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Ginger & Rosa". Box Office Mojo.
  4. ^ "Films – Ginger and Rosa". BBC. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  5. ^ Mark Olsen (8 September 2012). "Elle Fanning tears up on screen and off with 'Ginger and Rosa'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Ginger and Rosa | UK Cinema Release Date". Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Ginger and Rosa (2012)". Kent Film Office. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Ginger & Rosa (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Ginger & Rosa". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. ^ Scott, A. O. (14 March 2013). "Ticking Bomb in Their Friendship". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Burr, Ty (21 March 2013). "Elle Fanning makes 'Ginger & Rosa' dance". The Boston Globe.
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (2013). "Ginger and Rosa movie review & film summary (2013)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  13. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (18 October 2012). "Ginger & Rosa – review". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Debruge, Peter (1 September 2012). "Ginger & Rosa". Variety.
  15. ^ Andersson, Pidde. "Bio: Ginger & Rosa" (in Swedish).

External links[edit]