A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.
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A pre-fame Beatles head for the seedy clubs of Hamburg in search of success. The band meet up with a group of trendy German beatniks, one of whom (Astrid Kircherr) bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe falls in love with. Whilst best friend John Lennon can only watch, Sutcliffe has to choose between rock 'n roll and a new life in Germany... Written by
Stephen Dorff was the only actor of the group who could actually play his instrument (he's a professional musician in real life). Ironically, his character, Stuart Sutcliffe, could not play his instrument, which is one of the chief reasons the real Paul McCartney later cited as to why he wanted Stuart out of the band. See more »
At the end of the film, text describing subsequent events is superimposed over shots of a beach. One paragraph notes that Klaus Voormann played bass on John Lennon's album "Imagine" and designed the Beatles' "Revolver" album cover, but although the former title is placed in quotation marks, the latter is not. See more »
At the very end of the end titles, long after all the other music credits have run, one last music credit appears on the otherwise blank screen: "TIME TO GO HOME, Written by Maria Bird, Published by Minder Music." See more »
I won't attempt to cover the detail that so many others have simply to add. Sheryl plays Astrid very well, she implies the flavour of those early days of popular music very much in the raw. Not musically perfect or electronically sanitised but real thumping music for kids which they (and I was of that time albeit a little younger than the characters) loved. Remember there had been nothing like it before. Even Elvis's influence lacked the raw dark, smoky, sweaty feel of Hamburg, the Cavern Club and many venues that have disappeared from history. Astrid's art work through pictures captured the early feel of the Beatles and their lives/times like no other. When you look at those photos you can almost touch that slightly dangerous era.
The various films about the Beatles early years all contribute varying flavours of that time without individually capturing the whole and I would recommend Beatles/film buffs to look up and watch all versions.
Most of all the individuals.John was THE leader. Paul the workaholic perfectionist. George dedicated to improving his art while not taking any of it too seriously. Stuart doing his best for his friend John but inevitably his destiny (sadly abbreviated) was art. Pete was only transitional and Ringo who had already performed with them became an important factor. Tony Sheridan and others in Hamburg made important contributions and Brian Epstien was the final and very important cog.
Enjoy all of the films.
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