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.
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
This biopic of John Lennon, taking his story from his schooldays in Liverpool up until the departure of the nascent Beatles for Hamburg, is an exceptional movie, quite the best I have seen during 2009. The story is beautifully handled from beginning to end and the acting from the three main leads is superb. Aaron Johnson manages to portray Lennon's mixture of cockiness (in more ways than one!), aggression, painful vulnerability, bewilderment and sheer adolescent verve with great sureness of touch. We watch Lennon developing from school-kid into knowing young man, and we literally see a different face at the end of the movie to the one we did at the start. Superb playing by Johnson, brilliantly assisted by that of Kristin Scott Thomas as his Aunt Mimi and Anne-Marie Duff as his mother, Julia. It would have been all too easy to lapse into cliché with this story but this is largely avoided. We get glimpses of Liverpool - an opening on the steps of St George's Hall, a fleeting glimpse of Strawberry Fields, a shot of a ferry on the Mersey - but these glimpses are all we need. And the movie closes not with a rendition of an all too predictable 'Nowhere Man' but a beautifully performed 'In Spite of All the Danger'. They say it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock n' roll; in Nowhere Boy we can see where it, and we, all began.
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