A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The world can be bleak in this film, especially for Ginger, but her innate resilience -- and talent for poetry -- help her come through it. Themes include infidelity, parental abandonment, depression, alienation, and betraying a friendship.
Positive Role Models
The teen characters don't seem to have too many grown-ups who mentor them. But Bella teaches Ginger to stand up for what she believes in, and her parents do care for her to a degree. Other adults take advantage of the teens; in one case, a man old enough to be one's father has a romantic relationship with her.
Violence & Scariness
A woman slaps a teen. In another scene, protestors are hauled off by cops, a few of them forcefully. Some loud verbal arguments. The film is set in the early 1960s, and there's a pervasive fear of nuclear annihilation. Radio reports and TV newscasts obsess about it, and some clips show the bomb blowing up Hiroshima.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing and groping, mostly in the dark. A father figure seduces a teenager, who's fascinated by him. Another teenager hears them moaning. Some allusions to a married man's infidelity. Two girls are shown about to practice kissing.
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Infrequent use of words including "bitch" and "f--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Plenty of period-accurate smoking, including among teenagers. Also, underage drinking (an of-age young man buys a teen a half-pint of beer).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ginger & Rosa -- a coming-of-age drama set in the early 1960s -- is at times bleak and intense, with material that may be too overwhelming for younger teens and tweens. There's infidelity, parental abandonment, a relationship between a much older man and a girl young enough to be his daughter, depression, alienation -- all set against the backdrop of the early ban-the-bomb movement and the concurrent fear of nuclear devastation. Expect infrequent language (including "f--k" and "bitch") and some scenes in which a teen girl flirts with an older man and he returns her attentions (at one point moaning is heard from their room). There are also loud fights between a couple, a scene in which teen girls prepare to practice kissing (on each other), plenty of era-accurate smoking, and some underage drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
GINGER & ROSA might as well be called Ginger; she's heartbroken and heartbreaking, and we're with her, not Rosa, on this tempestuous journey. The title makes it sound as if the film is about two girls -- which it is, but only just. Halfway through, the ground shifts, and all at once, Ginger is front and center -- not that this is a tragedy, considering how well Fanning holds the audience's attention. She's pretty much perfect here, English accent included, inhabiting Ginger's restless and searching 17-year-old so fully.
And the movie does do a fine job portraying the alienation that wedges between her and Rosa (Englert holds her own). Why? The dramatic twist -- we won't spoil it -- isn't all that surprising, since the filmmakers leave an (annoyingly) obvious breadcrumb trail. But we don't fully understand -- some allusions to her father's abandonment notwithstanding -- why Rosa does what she does, inevitably wreaking havoc.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.