September 13, 2010


COLESMITHEY.COMDue to its unflattering depiction of Lennon's mother "Nowhere Boy" is not an early-life biopic of John Lennon that could have been made when he was alive. This is a soft-peddled look at the circumstances that led an ambitious lad from Liverpool to international stardom.

Movie Review: 'Nowhere Boy' hits right notes looking at young John Lennon |  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Artist-turned-director Sam Taylor-Wood takes advantage of licensing limitations that prevent the use of Beatles songs to delineate Lennon's troubled relationship with his mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff) after she turned over her five-year-old son to the care of her sister Mimi (well played by Kristin Scott Thomas) and Mimi's gregarious husband George (David Threlfall). George's untimely death leaves a hole in the teenaged Lennon's life that he proceeds to fill with girls and rockabilly music, which he steals from local record shops.

Why You Should Watch: Nowhere Boy | Movie Blog | SBS Movies

Hungry for contact with his mother, the young Lennon (Aaron Johnson) practically stalks the receptive Julia, who lives in a nearby suburb with her boyfriend and her two other children. John cuts school to spend time with his quirky mother, who teaches him to play the banjo.

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An uncomfortably intimate relationship develops between the mother and son that carries clear incestuous overtones. Yet the dramatic thrust of the picture rests on its third-act revelation of how and why Julia abandoned her son at such an early age.

Nowhere Boy (UK 2009) | The Global Film Book Blog

"Nowhere Boy" comes to musical life when John meets a young Paul McCartney (Thomas Brodie Sangster) and George Harrison (Sam Bell), and the three form the band that would eventually become the Beatles. Aaron Johnson gives a solid portrayal of the rock 'n' roll legend even if he doesn't manage to expand on the character beyond the scripted page.

Rated R. 98 mins.

3 Stars



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