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
Nowhere Boy is a film based the biography, Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon," written by his half sister Julia Baird. It tells the untold story of the late teenage years of one of the greatest musicians of all time, John Lennon and the strong influences his mother Julia Lennon (Anne-Marie Duff) and his aunt Mimi Smith (Kristin Scott Thomas) who created the foundation for his future as a person and the indelible mark he was about to leave on music forever. The film has created quite a racket throughout the UK since its release in December 2009 capturing four well deserved British Academy Film Award nominations including; Outstanding British Film, Best Supporting Actress Anne-Marie Duff and Kristen Scott Thomas and Outstanding Director Debut Sam Taylor Wood. These awards are the fire that the film is running off of for its debut in the United States this month.
Aaron Johnsons does a very good interpretation of his character John Lennon and reveals the mischievous antics of the teen aged John Lennon and the constant internal battle Lennon fought inside of himself to find out who he was. He is guided by the outstanding performances of Duff and Thomas as his guardians through his very rough childhood. Duff leads the cast with the best performance in the entire film by seamlessly embodying the character of John Lennon's mother Julia and has an American Oscar Nomination waiting for her in the upcoming months. These performances combined with the unique storytelling style of Director Wood and writer Matthew Greenhalgh with the help of Julia Baird's memoirs have created a film that is very different than a lot of films that focus on the lives of renown figures in history. They do this by focusing a narrow period of time allowing them to delve deep into the plot and story development giving the audience time to take in the entirety of the story, instead of stretching the film over a twenty plus year period of time.
The integrity that Wood and Greenhlgh produce with this style of filming allows the acting performances to flourish and creates the lost persona of the John Lennon, to be fully exemplified. I recommend seeing it now in order to be apart of the audience taken on the journey of Nowhere Boy. This journey of the "Nowhere Boy" himself is embodied by the lyric of the following song Mother from his debut solo album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, "Mother, you had me but I never had you. I wanted you, you didn't want me. So I just got to tell you goodbye, goodbye..."
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