Two and a half. Some moments of real drama and tension, but overall not as gripping/engaging as I thought it would be. However, it moves at a realistic pace and there are some really strong moments. Hendricks is not particularly suited to the part of Ginger's mum and seems fairly half-hearted in her portrayal. Also some beautiful cinematography!
An outstanding performance from Elle Fanning as 17-year-old Ginger who becomes obsessed by the bomb, at the same time that her family life falls apart. Beautiful, subtle use of dream-like colour, lighting and settings gives a good sense of the atmosphere of the times. A heavy-handed conclusion, targeted at making a necessary political point about patriarchy, reduces the film's subtlety. It’s still powerful though…
Potter captures the time period well with a new generation coming of age living in fear of nuclear holocaust while still having to deal with familial problems including the betrayal by a best friend and a father. Fanning, Nivola and especially Hendricks are great here and what the film lacks in narrative is compensated for by a wonderful visual style and said performances. A nice return to form.
Nuclear metaphor grabs all the attention but Potter's screenplay is too clever to let it dominate. This isn't a story about how cute and fun and righteous the sixties were - thank fuck, too. It's about people who cling to abstract political convictions in the absence of empathy, spinning parental absenteeism as a moral stand, belittling their spouses. If you take not-Michael Fassbender at face value, you're a donkus.
Beautiful cinematography (in a kind of obvious British muted tone that makes everyone look pale and everything look blue) and pretty incredible acting. Unfortunately, it felt a bit disjointed with some just plain silly dialogue that missed the mark for my built-up melodramagasm. But I did love the Bomb metaphor and the complex balance and imbalances of the political/personal.