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.
Writer: Matt Greenhalgh
Director: Sam Taylor-Wood
Stars: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Popcorn Score: Medium Popcorn with Butter
I suppose I should start out by addressing the fact that I am a very big Beatles fan. I don’t say that to brag by any means, because I am only oh, one of probably 10 million people that would classify themselves like that. But I am a very big Beatles fan. I don’t just listen to their music though, although I do own their entire published collection, thanks to my lovely girlfriend Ann and one of the best gifts I have ever received (2nd only to the Seinfeld collection) I at one point thought of myself as a scholar of the group and their music, reading as much as I could find and buy about them. That passion has somewhat subsided in the past few years and I have become more of just what I would call a passionate fan. The type of fan that discusses his or her favorite album (Abbey Road) rather than song with people because I believe they need to be taken as complete pieces of work rather than individual selections… and to prevent the “fan” of the Beatles that says they love the group and claim their favorite song as “Hey Jude” or “Let it Be” but can never even name another.
With all that being said, I don’t typically find Biopics about the Beatles or their music very good. “Across the Universe” specifically, which seemed like a “Glee” remake of Beatles Songs. “Nowhere Boy” was a very great film!
It chronicles the pre-Beatles John Lennon during his teenage years in Liverpool with his Aunt Mimi as his guardian and his mother Julia as an outside influence. The movie shows John learning that his mother lives only blocks away from where he has grown up with his aunt, and him seeking her out and the relationship that they build in his formative young adult years. Years that arguably laid the groundwork for the most influential rock band of all times and gave all of those 10 million people I mentioned earlier something to love.
Julia is portrayed as pretty floozy and has moments in the movie where as a viewer you think she may be falling in love or sexually lusting for any of the teenagers in the young band, or even her own son. Aunt Mimi is loving at times, but also cold and distant towards John. Aaron Johnson is masterful in balancing the cocky attitude that young John had as well as dealing with the emotional scenes and tough times that he went through with his family.
I believe like with most biographies you would need to have some interest in the subject for it to be intriguing to you but I don’t think that you have to be a Beatles or Lennon fan to enjoy this movie. It is an interesting and well done story about the troubling personal life of a young man and the band that he formed to help make it through. I recommend this movie for anyone who appreciates music or film.
Medium Popcorn with butter.