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The Grand Suggests: "Ginger & Rosa"

The right story, for the right generation, at the right time

"GINGER & ROSA": The film reveals young women - and a world - on the verge. Photo courtesy of Adventure Pictures

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In film, I often take the stance that coming-of-age stories about young women are often overdone, over rated and void of any reflection of my own experiences. I have sat tirelessly through stories about teen-age girls that I have no connection with, and can't think of anyone I know who might. In fact, this seems to be the case for most all stories about growing up.

The film Ginger & Rosa has the potential to change my opinion. Set in London, 1962, two 17-year-old best friends, Ginger and Rosa, find themselves in the midst of political turbulence and family drama. In the shadow of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the threat of a nuclear holocaust, they are left wondering if there will be a 1963.  

They teeter between youth and adulthood, going to protests to "Ban the Bomb" and drinking in some moments and holding teddy bears and working to please their parents in others. As they grow, their relationship starts to splinter as political action and religion stir conflict.

Ginger finds herself with the weight of the world on her shoulders, restless to save the world from nuclear war while her parents remain unshaken.

At first glance, a film set in the 1960s seems far from relatable to the experiences of generation X and Y.

However, growing up in a world where planes crash into towers, and intangible concepts such as "terrorism" are thought to best be fought with physical force, I've found that end-of-the-world fears may be just a realistic now as they were in 1962.

The differences are apparent, but both generations of youth were defined by the looming threat of unpredictable danger, distrust in government and head butting between political and religious factions.  

Critics have celebrated Ginger & Rosa for the performance of Elle Fanning, who plays Ginger. Shot when she was just 14, reviews have congratulated Fanning for an excellent performance playing a character three years older than her.

Fanning has been praised for baring Ginger's sensitive soul, never letting a thought or feeling pass through her mind without letting it flutter across her face. Perhaps the magic of a believable coming-of-age story will come tied to the sincerity of Fanning's performance.

A performance so strong is bound to make Ginger & Rosa more than just another coming-of-age tale. The result is a film that aims to takea deeper look at how the state of our world impacts the state of its youth - from the actions they take to the relationships they build and neglect.

Ginger & Rosa promises to be much more than just a story about teen girls growing up. I predict that if we look closely enough, we'll find ourselves in it, too.

It might just be the right story, for the right generation, at the right time.

THE GRAND CINEMA, GINGER & ROSA, OPENS FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2:15, 4:45, 7 AND 9:05 P.M., SHOWS DAILY (CHECK TIMES), $4.50-$9, 606 S. FAWCETT, TACOMA, 253. 593.4474

Kelsey Hilmes is a media and marketing intern at The Grand Cinema and junior at Pacific Lutheran University

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