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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The story of John Lennon's childhood and teenage years from 1944 to 1960, his relationship with his aunt Mimi and his mother Julia -the two dominant women in the first part of his life-, his first meeting with Paul McCartney and George Harrison, their friendship, their love for music and the birth of The Beatles. Written by
I guess this would be considered an "a moment-in-the-life-of-biopic" as it focuses on only a couple of years of pre-Beatles John Lennon's life in Liverpool, England (and not his entire life). It is an interesting story and one I did not know. It asks and answers the question: Where did Lennon get his start and love for music?
The film's subject matter -- the early life of John Lennon -- made Nowhere Boy an interesting story and sell for me; and since the acting in the movie happened to be stellar -- it was a bonus. Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) does a decent job as the 15-year-old Lennon and proves to be one to watch as he's going to have a long career although the real acting "glory" of the film belongs to the two lead females who are left to battle it out as Lennon's motherly figure(s). Kristin Scott Thomas (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The English Patient) plays his aunt who has raised John from early infant-hood as her sister was considered to be an unlikely parent/guardian. In the film, John stumbles upon his birth mother out of curiosity and becomes intrigued with her demeanor. Actress Anne-Marie Duff (Notes on a Scandal, The Last Station) is rather revelatory here (BOTH her and Scott Thomas deservingly earned 2010 BAFTA nominations for these very roles).
The story is sentimental and tragic and it is tied together quite nicely by the three lead players who all play off of each other very well and convincingly (Duff is flighty, Scott Thomas is concerned and Johnson is a free soul). The young Lennon becomes a mixture of the two women (a poetic rebel) and their influences are highly evident in the film and his later music.
Any Beatles fan should check this one out. It isn't full of Hey Jude's and Elinor Rigby's but this is Pre-Beatles (we do meet a young Paul) so we get a taste of the kid before he become our "Nowhere Boy".
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