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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.

Director:

Sam Taylor-Johnson (as Sam Taylor-Wood)

Writer:

Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,117 ( 77)
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 6 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... John (as Aaron Johnson)
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Mimi
David Threlfall ... Uncle George
Josh Bolt ... Pete
Ophelia Lovibond ... Marie
Kerrie Hayes ... Marie's Friend
Angela Walsh Angela Walsh ... Schoolmistress
Paul Ritter ... Popjoy
Richard Syms ... Reverend
Anne-Marie Duff ... Julia
James Johnson James Johnson ... Stan
Alex Ambrose Alex Ambrose ... Young John
Angelica Jopling ... Julia - aged 8
Abby Greenhalgh Abby Greenhalgh ... Jackie - aged 6
David Morrissey ... Bobby
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Extraordinary Untold Story Of John Lennon. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi nombre es John Lennon See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$52,749, 10 October 2010

Gross USA:

$1,457,248

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,577,779
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson consulted her friend Sir Paul McCartney about the script. McCartney told that John Lennon didn't really ride on the top of the double-decker bus like he does in the script. He also revealed that the character of Lennon's aunt, Mimi Smith, wasn't as mean and vitriolic like she was written in the script. Furthermore, the song "In Spite of All the Danger" wasn't written as an ode to Lennon's mother as the script suggests. In the end they agreed that it's a film rather than documentary so Taylor-Johnson made inferences that weren't always there. See more »

Goofs

The soundtrack erroneously credits three songs to Sam Bell, who played George. In the movie, "Hello Little Girl" was performed by Aaron Johnson (John); while "Twenty Flight Rock" and "Love Me Tender" were performed by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Paul). Two other songs performed by John, and a duet by John & Paul, are correctly credited to Johnson & Sangster; while George is only seen singing together with Paul & John in the final track performed by the Nowhere Boys. See more »

Quotes

John: Is nowhere full of geniuses, sir? Because then I do probably belong there.
See more »

Connections

References A Hard Day's Night (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake Rattle & Roll
Written by Charles F. Calhoun (as Charles Calhoun)
Published by UniChappell Music Inc. (BMI) and Mijac Music (BMI)
All rights administered by UnicHappell Music Inc.
Sub-Published by Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd
In the territory of British Commonwealth Eire & South Africa Excluding Australasia, Canada
Performed by Elvis Presley
(p) 1956 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Licensed courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An interesting insight into the musical genius.
30 December 2009 | by Troy_CampbellSee all my reviews

I knew very little about Lennon – a Beatle, shot dead at age 40, all round musical god to millions – before seeing Nowhere Boy. I know more about him now, but not as much as I'd hope. Matt Greenleigh's screenplay, based on Julia Baird's (Lennon's sister) memoirs, covers only a small period of the rocker's life, more specifically between the ages of 16 and 20. These were the years when Lennon met his real mother and learnt the truth about how he ended up living with his Aunt Mimi. Oh, and he also met Paul McCartney and George Harrison. However the film strongly focuses on his familial issues and leaves the formation of his band as a sidenote, which is a real shame because as an ignorant fan it would have been great to learn more about the Lennon / McCartney dynamic and how The Quarrymen-cum-Beatles grabbed the world's attention.

In her sophomore effort as director, Sam Taylor Wood brings a nice artistic edge to the proceedings although her picture isn't always as compelling as it should be. There are a handful of powerful scenes that'll get the heart pumping though; a tense, all-cards-on-the-table discussion between Lennon, Julia and Mimi is Nowhere Boy at its best. With the assistance of DP Seamus McGarvey, she manages to capture the mood and gloom of 50's London extremely well, the chilly weather a perfect excuse for kids everywhere to dress like Elvis.

Perhaps most importantly, Wood has extracted a fine performance from the 19 year old Johnson; his brash, confused Lennon is never less than convincing. Always reliable, and almost stealing the show, is Kristin Scott Thomas as the stern but devoted Aunt Mimi. She gives Mimi so much depth and unsaid emotion, it is tour de force to witness. Not quite as engaging is Thomas Sangster as McCartney and Anne-Marie Duff as Lennon's completely bizarre mother Julia.

A small, but interesting insight into the musical genius that was John Winston Lennon.

3.5 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)


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