Star rating - 6/10
The post war build up of nuclear weapons is the back drop to this teenage coming of age film, set in a London amidst a growing CND movement. It deals as much with the political and social issues of the day, as with the friendship of two schoolgirl best friends Ginger and Rosa (played by young actresses American Elle Fanning and Australian Alice Englert).
Both girls are trying to escape domestic unhappiness, Rosa who lives with her single parent mother and feels little love at home, and Ginger who finds herself in the middle of her parents' unhappy marriage. Her father Roland is a pretty selfish, despicable character who cares more about his principles than those around him. He was sent to prison during the war as a conscientious objector, and he feels morally superior to all around him, and certainly does not play by society's rules.
But the impending relationship between Roland and seventeen year old Rosa is a bit too telegraphed early on - with knowing glances between them in the rear view mirror of his car. So that when it unfolds, the impact has been diluted. The two young leads give good performances, and there are also some strong supporting roles from Timothy Spall and Annette Bening in particular as family friends.
But the story line is a bit too weak to be either especially interesting, or particularly moving, and it has an unsatisfactory ending with loose ends not tied up in a manner which feels careless rather than intriguing.