From the writer of Control, Nowhere Boy is the story of John Lennon's childhood... Liverpool 1955: a smart and troubled fifteen year-old is hungry for experience. In a family full of secrets, two incredible women clash over John (Aaron Johnson). Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) the buttoned-up Aunt who raised him, and Julia (Anne-Marie Duff, The Last Station), the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into the new and exciting world of rock n' roll where his fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney. Just as John begins his new life, tragedy strikes. But a resilient young man finds his voice - and an icon explodes into the world.
Cheeky, cocky and lippy enough to raise the hackles of any adult in authority
- Nowhere Boy review by RP
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You rated this film: 3
This is a dramatised story of John Lennon's adolescent years from 14-18 or so. How accurate it is I don't know, but it's based on a book written by John's half sister, so it should have elements of the truth. What it most certainly isn't is the story of The Beatles and nor are the actors look-alikes for the real-life characters: anyone expecting that will be disappointed.
Much of the film deals with young Lennon's attempts to deal with the emotional turmoil of a disjointed (not to say dysfunctional) childhood, his relationship with his Aunt Mimi Smith who brought him up from the age of 4, and his absentee mother, Julia Lennon. It shows limited contact between young Lennon and his mother until she was knocked down and killed in a road accident when he was 17. She did however teach John to play banjo. The film shows the Quarrymen, Lennon's skiffle band – though they do seem to play rather well for a schoolboy band, but that's movie reality I guess. The story ends at the point where John has written his first song ('Hello Little Girl') and the pre-Beatles are about to leave for Hamburg.
I liked it – the performances seem credible, particularly that of Aaron Johnson as Lennon, who is cheeky, cocky and lippy enough to raise the hackles of any adult in authority – which I understand is exactly what happened. Watch it – you may like it as well. I rate it as 3/5 stars.
If your a fan of the fab four or just one of them then this is for you i like the beatles music i grew up listening to my mum singing and playing the records on our 6' long radio gram come record player along with dads motown stuff ahh the good ole days well if your not an avid fan its still a good bit of history............ youll enjoy it and it has the added bonus of having Yoko's seal of approval........
This film, though not historically accurate, workd for one big reason: the script is well written. It focuses on the relationship between a boy, his mum and his aunt - and this relationship structures the film and adds its emotion.
OK, so Uncle George died when John Lennon was 12, so the film gets a lot wrong - for a start, the idea that the teenagers in the 50s had access to 21st century sex from available girls in nonsense. Also, John Lennon is predicatbly idealised - he was, in many ways, a violent and selfish thug, and that never gets shown really.
And certainly, the music played by early incantations of the Beatles - the Quarrymen and others - was nowhere near as good as it sounds here! (I know - I've listened to the tapes...).