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Nowhere Boy (2009)

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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.


(as Sam Taylor-Wood)


Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 6 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John (as Aaron Johnson)
Marie's Friend
Angela Walsh ...
James Johnson ...
Alex Ambrose ...
Abby Greenhalgh ...
Jackie (aged 6)


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 CynthiaPowell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


As a boy all John Lennon needed was love. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi nombre es John Lennon  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£148,157 (UK) (25 December 2009)


$1,445,366 (USA) (3 December 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Title of the film is a reference to a famous Beatles' song "Nowhere Man" See more »


John Lennon had brown eyes not blue. See more »


John: Why couldn't God make me Elvis?
Julia: 'Cause he was saving you for John Lennon!
See more »


Referenced in Maltin on Movies: Barney's Version (2011) See more »


That'll Be the Day
Written by Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, Norman Petty
Published (c) 1957 MPL Communications Inc.
Melody Lane Publications, Inc.
Performed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (as Aaron Johnson)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Unsentimental but still artful biopic of the early Lennon
27 December 2009 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Sam Taylor-Wood's story of the adolescent John Lennon is an entertaining and occasionally touching film. I enjoyed it for the story of a young lad belligerently (and often fearfully) confronting the inevitable revelation of his past and constructing some sort of future. Taylor-Wood has consciously avoided any direct reference to the man that we all knew John Lennon would become, although there are implicit signposts placed in the visual narrative. Instead, his part in creating The Beatles assumed, the director concentrates on the (far from) simple facts of his coming of age, acquaintance with music and with real panache, the social climate in which this all came about.

The central narrative concerns the ying and yang relationships that John has with his aunt Mimi and rediscovered mother Julia. It is hard to imagine how these three parts would be better played than by you're-not- fooling-anyone-ice-queen Kristin Scott-Thomas and the effervescent life- force of Anne Marie Duff (respsectively). There's some fine screen acting going on here. Yet the tortured break with a prosaic, echt- English aunt and the intense, Oedipal love for a irresistible mother would be nothing without the right John - and where Aaron Johnson's been, I've no idea. His great ability is to trip off endless social anachronisms, turns of phrase that would seem un-PC, ill-advised or simply too cheeky today with a body language to suggest that he has no idea of the ramifications or combativeness of such an attitude. This is what makes the rock-n-roll, about to burst from the back of the screen (like the Third Reich in Haneke's White Ribbon) so palpable, so believable.

A good film, told, briskly and with rich nuance. 7/10

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