Nowhere Boy (2009) Poster

Nowhere Boy (2009)

  • Rate: 7.1/10 total 11,367 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | Music
  • Release Date: 25 December 2009 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 98 min
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Nowhere Boy (2009)


Nowhere Boy 2009tt1266029.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Nowhere Boy (2009)
  • Rate: 7.1/10 total 11,367 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | Music
  • Release Date: 25 December 2009 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 98 min
  • Filming Location: Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK
  • Gross: $1,445,366(USA)(5 December 2010)
  • Director: Sam Taylor-Wood
  • Stars: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff
  • Original Music By: Alison Goldfrapp  (as Alison Goldfrap) Will Gregory   
  • Soundtrack: Shake, Rattle and Roll
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Friendship | Childhood | The Beatles | Love | Adolescence

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Julia Baird  memoir (uncredited)
  • Matt Greenhalgh  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • This movie’s (limited) theatrical release date in the United States was October 8, 2010, one day before what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday.
  • In John’s room at Mendips, a drawing on the wall — of a soccer player and two officials — appears on the cover of John Lennon’s 1974 solo album “Walls And Bridges.”
  • Although the film is about John Lennon, best known for being the founding member of The Beatles, the film doesn’t mention the bands name throughout the whole film.
  • In this film David Threlfall plays Anne-Marie Duff’s brother-in-law. In the series Shameless he played her father.

Goofs: Anachronisms: The cigarettes smoked seem rather 'king sized' for the era, when Players and Woodbine were prevalent.

Plot: 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. Full summary »  »

Story: 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  


Synopsis: NOWHERE BOY, the debut feature of Sam Taylor-Wood, tells the never seen before story of John Lennons childhood.

Imagine John Lennons childhood A spirited teenager, curious, sharp and funny, growing up in the shattered city of Liverpool. Two extraordinary sisters tussle for his love – Mimi, the formidable aunt who raised him from the age of 5 and Julia, the spirited mother who gave him up to Mimis care. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into art and the new music flooding in from the US. His fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the young Paul McCartney. But just as Johns new life begins, the truth about his past leads to a tragedy he would never escape.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Robert Bernstein known as producer
  • Matt Delargy known as co-producer
  • Jon Diamond known as executive producer
  • Tim Haslam known as executive producer
  • Kevin Loader known as producer
  • Jaynie Miller known as associate producer: Bus Stop Films
  • Christopher Moll known as executive producer
  • Douglas Rae known as producer
  • Paul Ritchie known as co-producer
  • Tessa Ross known as executive producer
  • James Saynor known as co-producer
  • Rhodri Thomas known as co-executive producer
  • Bob Weinstein known as co-executive producer
  • Harvey Weinstein known as co-executive producer
  • Mark Woolley known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Aaron Johnson known as John
  • Kristin Scott Thomas known as Mimi
  • David Threlfall known as Uncle George
  • Josh Bolt known as Pete Shotton
  • Ophelia Lovibond known as Marie
  • Kerrie Hayes known as Marie's Friend
  • Angela Walsh known as Schoolmistress
  • Paul Ritter known as Popjoy
  • Richard Syms known as Reverend
  • Anne-Marie Duff known as Julia
  • James Johnson known as Stan
  • Alex Ambrose known as Young John
  • Angelica Jopling known as Julia – Aged 8
  • Abby Greenhalgh known as Jackie (aged 6)
  • David Morrissey known as Bobby
  • Richard Tate known as Teacher
  • Chris Coghill known as Cunard Yank (as Christopher Coghill)
  • Ben Smith known as Boy with Knife
  • Andrew Buchan known as Fishwick
  • Baillie Walsh known as Postman
  • Simon Lowe known as Guitar Shop Guy
  • Frazer Bird known as Len
  • James Jack Bentham known as Rod
  • Jack McElhone known as Eric
  • Daniel Ross known as Nigel
  • Sam Wilmott known as Colin Hanton
  • John Collins known as Ivan
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster known as Paul (as Thomas Brodie Sangster)
  • Sam Bell known as George
  • Colin Tierney known as Alf
  • Nigel Travis known as Cavern Bouncer
  • Lizzie Hopley known as Café Waitress
  • Dan Armour known as Percy Phillips
  • Neil Broome known as Golfer
  • Abbie Murison known as Diane
  • Riccardo Bacigalupo known as Teen at Fair (uncredited)
  • Les Loveday known as Teddy in Gang (uncredited)
  • Sarah Molkenthin known as Teen (uncredited)
  • John Patten known as Bouncer (uncredited)
  • Adele Heather Taylor known as Party guest (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Heather Manson known as makeup trainee
  • Paul Mooney known as hair stylist
  • Lesley Smith known as hair stylist
  • Lesley Smith known as makeup artist
  • Jeremy Woodhead known as hair designer
  • Jeremy Woodhead known as makeup designer
  • Paul Boyce known as crowd makeup artist (uncredited)
  • Sidony Etherton known as daily makeup trainee (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Paul Ball known as painter (as Paul Bale)
  • Tim Blake known as graphic designer
  • Tim Blake known as stand-by art director
  • Chris Brough known as carpenter
  • Rob Brown known as construction manager
  • Jenni Canwell known as art department trainee
  • James Collins known as assistant art director
  • Lisa Collins known as standby painter
  • Cavin Dempsey known as carpenter
  • Kimberley Fahey known as production buyer (as Kim Fahey)
  • Mark Geeson known as dressing props
  • David Haynes known as supervising painter (as Dave Haynes)
  • John Haynes known as painter
  • Tom Higgins known as standby carpenter
  • Gavin Hosler known as carpenter
  • Josh Jones known as standby carpenter
  • Richard Magennis known as stand-by props
  • Steve Marquiss known as painter
  • Jonny Meakin known as storyboard artist
  • Colin Mutch known as property master
  • Tony O'Hara known as construction manager
  • Eddie O'Neil known as stagehand
  • Dominic Pike known as construction manager
  • Mark Reynolds known as dressing props
  • Neil Robertson known as stagehand
  • Mary Pat Sheahan known as standby painter (as Mary-Pat Sheahan)
  • Peter Taylor known as carpenter
  • Anna Thomas known as art department assistant
  • Leigh Thurbon known as construction supervisor
  • Bradley Torbett known as chargehand standby props
  • Louis Turner known as set dresser
  • Stuart Watson known as construction manager
  • Chris White known as carpenter
  • Philip Clark known as picture researcher (uncredited)
  • Andrew Laybats known as scenic artist (uncredited)
  • Stephen McGregor known as carpenter (uncredited)
  • George Morris known as prop vehicles (uncredited)
  • Fabrice Spelta known as assistant art director (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Ecosse Films
  • Film4
  • UK Film Council
  • Aver Media
  • North West Vision

Other Companies:

  • Premier PR  publicity
  • 1st Position Vehicles  action vehicles
  • Abbey Road Studios  music recording facility
  • Airstar Lighting Balloons  lighting balloons (as Airstar)
  • Alex Rouse Wigmakers  wig supplies (as Alex Rouse Wigs)
  • Angels the Costumiers  costume supplies
  • Arion Facilities  telecine dailies
  • Assault and Battery  music recording facility
  • Audiolink Radio Communications  production mobiles and data cards & walkie talkies
  • Baptty & Co.  armourer
  • Bickers Action Enterprises  action vehicles (as Bickers Action)
  • Big City Reservations  accommodation
  • Big Portion Location Catering  catering: crowd
  • Capello Media Solutions  nehative checks and script
  • Carlo Manzi Rentals  costume supplies (as Carlo Manzi)
  • Casting Collective  extras casting
  • Cosprops  costume supplies
  • Direct Film  facilities
  • EuroKids & Adults International Casting and Model Agency  extras casting
  • Film Finances  bond company
  • Fujifilm  motion picture film supplier
  • HireWorks  Avid equipment rental
  • J & J International Catering  catering (as J & J Interational)
  • Kodak  motion picture film supplier
  • Lee and Thompson Solicitors  legal services: Northwest Vision and Media (as Lee and Thompson)
  • Lip Sync Post  digital intermediate (as LipSync Post)
  • Lip Sync Post  post-production facilities (as LipSync Post)
  • Lip Sync Post  sound mixing (as LipSync Post)
  • Lip Sync Post  titles (as LipSync Post)
  • MK Travel  minibuses
  • Makin Movies  location facilities and supplies
  • Midnight Digital  Dailies
  • Movie Lot, The  security
  • Movie Makers  facilities
  • Movie Tone Frocks  costume supplies
  • Panalux  lighting equipment
  • Panavision Grips  grip equipment
  • Panavision UK  camera equipment (as Panavision)
  • Red Chutney  catering: crowd
  • Sargent Disc  accounting services
  • Shipleys  auditors
  • Sony Music Entertainment  soundtrack
  • Soundelux  sound editorial
  • Spotless Locations  location facilities and supplies
  • TCE Danwood  photocopiers
  • Tele-Cater  catering: crowd
  • Totally Entertainment  insurance broker
  • Universal Sound  foley recording facility
  • West Trend Apartments  accommodation
  • Wiggin  legal advisor: Aver Media


  • A-Film Distribution (2010) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Cathay-Keris Films (2010) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • GAGA (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Icon Film Distribution (2010) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Mars Distribution (2010) (France) (theatrical)
  • Senator Filmverleih (2010) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Weinstein Company, The (2010) (USA) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2010) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • CatchPlay (2010) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Film1 (2011) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2010) (United Arab Emirates) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Imagem Filmes (2010) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution (2010) (Finland) (all media)
  • Odeon (2010) (Greece) (all media)
  • Senator Home Entertainment (2011) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2011) (USA) (DVD)
  • Weinstein Company, The (2009) (Argentina) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Lip Sync Post (visual effects) (as LipSync Post)
  • Visual Effects Company, The (motion control)

Visual Effects by:

  • Chris Bentley known as digital lab operator: LipSync Post
  • Alberto Buron known as digital lab operator: LipSync Post
  • Luke Butler known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
  • Stefan Drury known as head of visual effects: LipSync Post
  • Laura Dubsky known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
  • Matt Foster known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
  • Yanni Goudetsidis known as systems engineer: LipSync Post
  • Stephanie C. Kelly known as digital compositor: LipSync Post (as Stephanie Kelly)
  • Philippe Ludivig known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
  • John O'Lone known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
  • Angela Rose known as visual effects supervisor: LipSync Post
  • Jon Stanley known as senior systems engineer: LipSync Post
  • Daniel Tomlinson known as senior digital lab operator: LipSync Post
  • Samantha Tracey known as visual effects producer: LipSync Post
  • Rick White known as technical support: LipSync Post
  • Blake Winder known as digital compositor: LipSync Post

Release Date:

  • UK 29 October 2009 (London Film Festival)
  • Italy 13 November 2009 (Turin Film Festival)
  • Ireland 25 December 2009
  • UK 25 December 2009
  • Australia 26 December 2009
  • Sweden January 2010 (Göteborg International Film Festival)
  • USA 27 January 2010 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • New Zealand 4 March 2010
  • Israel 18 March 2010
  • Sweden 26 March 2010
  • Netherlands 1 April 2010
  • Finland 9 April 2010
  • Russia 15 April 2010
  • USA 22 May 2010 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • Denmark 27 May 2010
  • USA 17 June 2010 (Provincetown International Film Festival)
  • USA 20 June 2010 (Nantucket Film Festival)
  • Kazakhstan 23 June 2010
  • USA 27 July 2010 (Traverse City Film Festival)
  • Norway 10 September 2010
  • USA 18 September 2010 (Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival)
  • Singapore 23 September 2010
  • Brazil 24 September 2010 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • Germany 2 October 2010 (Hamburg Film Festival)
  • USA 2 October 2010 (San Diego Film Festival)
  • France 7 October 2010 (Dinard Festival of British Cinema)
  • USA 7 October 2010 (Mill Valley Film Festival)
  • USA 8 October 2010 (New York City, New York)
  • Canada 15 October 2010 (limited)
  • Mexico 16 October 2010 (Morelia International Film Festival)
  • Brazil 22 October 2010 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
  • Japan 5 November 2010
  • France 12 November 2010 (Arras Film Festival)
  • Brazil 3 December 2010
  • France 8 December 2010
  • Germany 8 December 2010
  • South Korea 9 December 2010
  • Mexico 10 December 2010
  • Poland 17 December 2010
  • Estonia 29 April 2011
  • Peru 5 May 2011
  • Colombia 27 May 2011
  • Spain 27 May 2011
  • Hong Kong 28 July 2011
  • Chile 13 October 2011

MPAA: Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. ptb-8 from Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    Upon reading other comments, this film clearly polarizes viewers. Isuggest you read the comment by someone called Phantom Fan who sums upa lot of the story and emotional content quite well in my opinion. As aresult I need not repeat. I am old enough to remember the Beatles intheir climb to fame, but this film is not about that. The film is aboutJohn Lennon at 15. This seems to annoy some viewers. If a person readsthe ads and sees the trailer: it clearly says JOHN LENNON AT 15. Sowhining about the film not being about John Lennon at 25 and not beingabout The Beatles seems as though someone did not pay attention to thefilm's advertising information. What we do have however is a superbproduction set in the mid 1950s as rock n roll grabbed teens and JohnLennon (aged 15) realized some emotional hard truths about his familyand himself. It just these key emotional Lennon family earthquakes thatis the story of this film. Not 'How The Beatles met". The tug of lovebetween two brittle sisters and the increasingly shocked and troubledLennon let us glimpse the deep ruptures in his romantic psyche that sawhis scorching opinions and acidic wit build. This is a great film, theart direction and set design allow the viewer to feel as though theyare there in those rooms on those days. Aaron Johnson is possibly toohandsome for John and is photographed to boost his genuine beauty; thephotography and the direction are terrific. Interesting for Australiancinema goers is that we are fortunate to have had two award winningfilms previously about similar family backgrounds: CAREFUL HE MIGHTHEAR YOU from 1983 written as a memoir by Sumner Locke Elliott abouthis life at 6 years old being bounced between two warring aunts and anabsent father is almost identical family (flashbacks) background toNOWHERE BOY. Also Eric Bana's 2008 film with Kobi Smit McPhee calledROMULUS MY FATHER is almost a flip-side between a Dad trying to savehis son from an unstable mother and her lovers. So perhaps we in Oz arebetter more willing to applaud NOWHERE BOY on this basis. I found everypart of this film compelling and thought Johnson great casting foryoung Lennon. The two sisters and their unraveling personal issues fromtheir fraught past made excellent drama. I went with it all and Isuggest you do too. But be prepared to let it inform you rather thanyou demand 'a Beatles movie'. My only niggle is the fey depiction of a15 year old cherubic sissy styled Paul McCartney. NOWHERE BOY wentsomewhere for me.

  2. James Hitchcock from Tunbridge Wells, England
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    Period drama has long been a forte of the British cinema; prior to thisone there had already been at least three excellent examples from 2009;"Young Victoria", "Dorian Grey" and "An Education". Traditional Britishcostume drama has concentrated on the Victorian era and early twentiethcentury (roughly speaking 1837-1945), but Nowhere Boy, like "AnEducation", is set at a rather later period, in this case the latefifties.

    The film is about the adolescence of John Lennon, while he was atschool and art college in Liverpool. Unlike his three fellow Beatles,who were all from working-class backgrounds, Lennon grew up inmiddle-class suburbia with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George, who hadraised him since he was five. He was the son of Mimi's younger sisterJulia by her husband Alf Lennon (referred to in the film as "Fred"),but the marriage was not a success, and after Julia began arelationship with another man, Mimi took care of the youngster, thenfive years old. Julia did not reappear in Lennon's life until histeenage years when a cousin informed him that, contrary to what he hadpreviously thought, she was still living in Liverpool, only a shortwalk from his home.

    The film focuses on the influence these two very different women had onLennon's early life. Although they were sisters, they had wildlycontrasting personalities. Julia was a bohemian extrovert, liberal inher social views and keen to foster her son's musical and artistictalents. Mimi (actually christened Mary Elizabeth) may have shared anickname with the heroine of "La Boheme", but there was nothingbohemian about her. She was a strict disciplinarian who initially hadlittle sympathy with John's musical aspirations and insisted that heget a "proper job", although eventually she gave in and agreed to buyhim a guitar.

    The film also charts Lennon's musical development, including his firstmeetings with Paul McCartney and George Harrison (Ringo, of course, didnot come onto the scene until a few years later) and the birth of TheQuarrymen, the band which was later to become The Beatles. There is avivid picture of the British music scene in the late fifties, a timewhen trad jazz and rock-and-roll seemed to be competing to become themusic of the future. There was also a curious British musical form,skiffle (actually a revival of an earlier American variety of jazz)which was influential at the time; The Quarrymen started out as askiffle band.

    The film also captures the look of the period; although the latefifties were a time of increasing material prosperity, there was muchabout British life which had a drab feel about it, especially theclothes and the interior decoration schemes. There is a contrastbrought out between Mimi's house, decorated in various shades of brownand cream, and the brighter colours of Julia's which look forward tothe more garish tastes that were to predominate in the sixties. (Iremember growing up in a house where the living-room combined darkgreen wallpaper with a bright orange carpet- hideous today, butunexceptional at the time).

    It was not so long ago that Kristin Scott Thomas was playing romanticheroines in films like "The English Patient"; today, casting directorsseem to see her as a middle-aged battleaxe in roles like VeronicaWhittaker in "Easy Virtue". Aunt Mimi at first seems like the bourgeoisequivalent of the aristocratic Veronica, although she later shows thatthere is a gentler, more caring, side to her nature. (If VeronicaWhittaker ever had a gentler side she kept it well-hidden, even fromherself). Scott Thomas is even better here than she was in "EasyVirtue", because the role she is playing is more complex. Anne-MarieDuff is also very good as Julia and Aaron Johnson as Lennon seems likea young star in the making. Johnson is perhaps rather more handsomethan Lennon was in real life, but he is able to convey a real sense ofwhat he must have been like, in part a rebellious tearaway whose ideaof fun is going for a ride on the roof of a bus, part emotionallyvulnerable youngster torn between loyalty to his carefree, fun-lovingmother and to his aunt, the woman who had cared for him since he wasvery young. The title "Nowhere Boy" is not just a play on the title ofone of Lennon's best-known songs; it is also indicative of John's stateof mind as he tries to reconcile these two influences on his life. Likehis "Nowhere Man", he "Knows not where he's going to".

    The film's main appeal will probably be to those with an interest inThe Beatles, although in my view it can also be seen as a movingcoming-of-age drama which can be enjoyed by those who can't tell Lennonand McCartney from Rodgers and Hammerstein or from Gilbert andSullivan. It contains not only some great music but also some greatacting. This was director Sam Taylor-Wood's first feature film but itis a debut of which she (that's Sam as in Samantha, not as in Samuel)can be proud. 8/10

  3. phantom_fan89 from Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    Visual artist Sam Taylor Wood has crafted the most entertaining andthought provoking piece of Lennon mythology to date in her debutfeature film Nowhere Boy.

    The movie chronicles the adolescent years of John Lennon. Having beenbrought up by his Aunt Mimi, John's world is turned upside when hisfree spirited mother Julia re-enters his life, ripping him open andpulling out his artistry as well as pain, anger and frustration.

    A number of films and documentaries have tried and failed to make adefinitive statement about John Lennon the human being. The reason whyNowhere Boy is so successful is because we are presented with a complexand multi faceted young man, who was a number of things to a number ofpeople and impossible to pigeonhole.

    Based on the novel by John's sister Julia Baird with the script pennedby Matt Greenhalgh, Nowhere Boy possesses an enormously strongemotional undercurrent that is missing from many films of the biopicgenre. The Lennon legend has risen to almost unparalleled mythicalheights within our culture and Greenhalgh does a superb job athumanising the story, so much that you forget that you are watching afilm about a legend in the making, but rather the story of a young boycaught between the women he loves.

    The women in question are John's Aunt Mimi played by the ever brilliantKristen Scott Thomas and his mother Julia, brought to life in a starmaking turn by Anne-Marie Duff. Though much of the acclaim seems to bepercolating around Duff's performance, Scott Thomas deserves to beequally praised for making the incredibly complex character of Mimirelatable and sympathetic. In the wrong hands Aunt Mimi could have comeacross as highly unlikeable considering she can often appear distantand cold, but Scott Thomas juxtaposes these instances with such anunderstated kindness and warmth that we as the audience realise thatMimi is a very caring person who has the misfortune of finding italmost impossible to express sentimental feelings. On the other end ofthe spectrum Julia appears to be everything Mimi isn't- a free spiritwho flouts convention and lives for a good time. Julia is a flirt. Sheflirts with life, men and even her own son. There is a ratherincestuous undercurrent to her and John's relationship such as when shelays on top of him, lost in ecstasy to the tune "I Put A Spell On You".The scene is uncomfortable, as is many aspects of their relationship.In many ways she seems more like a girlfriend to John and as the movieprogresses we begin to understand more and more Mimi's misgivings. Inmany ways Julia has never really grown up and only knows how to engagewith men in this seductive manner.

    John Lennon is played by relative unknown Aaron Johnson, mainlyassociated with his role in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Johnsonbreaks free from the shackles of his teen pin-up persona and delivers amature and layered performance worthy of accolades. Johnson fullyembodies Lennon's complexities; he is both good and bad, insecure andarrogant, sensitive and brutal, caring and careless. From Lennon's witto his magnetism, pain, anger and sarcasm, Johnson gets it all.Considering Lennon is one of the most imitated celebrities of our timeJohnson does well to avoid caricature, creating a version of Lennon athis most human. Johnson's vocal abilities also sound eerily reminiscentof a young Lennon, making him an excellent choice in more ways thanone.

    Taylor Wood is definitely a talent to watch as she not only elicitsfine performances from her cast but also manages to capture the essenceof post war Liverpool in a vivid and imaginative way. Gone are thebleak greys, squalid mean streets and endless rows of two up two downhouses that usually characterises the depictions of the area. Insteadwe are presented with a much more colorful and vibrant depiction ofLiverpool, a City just beginning to discover the charms of rock androll. The excitement in the air is palpable.

    One of the greatest attributes of Nowhere Boy is the soundtrack,crammed with classics from Elvis Presley, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, JerryLee Lewis and Eddie Cochran. Coupled with these original rock songs arecovers sung by Aaron Johnson and Thomas Sangstar as their respectivecharacters.

    Nowhere Boy is an absolute gem of a film that will hopefully find theaudience it deserves. You'll laugh, cry and kick yourself for notlearning guitar in your youth. Possibly the most touching film of theyear, there is nowhere else you should be on Boxing Day. FOR MOREREVIEWS FEEL FREE TO VISIT

  4. flickernatic from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    This biopic of John Lennon, taking his story from his schooldays inLiverpool up until the departure of the nascent Beatles for Hamburg, isan exceptional movie, quite the best I have seen during 2009. The storyis beautifully handled from beginning to end and the acting from thethree main leads is superb. Aaron Johnson manages to portray Lennon'smixture of cockiness (in more ways than one!), aggression, painfulvulnerability, bewilderment and sheer adolescent verve with greatsureness of touch. We watch Lennon developing from school-kid intoknowing young man, and we literally see a different face at the end ofthe movie to the one we did at the start. Superb playing by Johnson,brilliantly assisted by that of Kristin Scott Thomas as his Aunt Mimiand Anne-Marie Duff as his mother, Julia. It would have been all tooeasy to lapse into cliché with this story but this is largely avoided.We get glimpses of Liverpool – an opening on the steps of St George'sHall, a fleeting glimpse of Strawberry Fields, a shot of a ferry on theMersey – but these glimpses are all we need. And the movie closes notwith a rendition of an all too predictable 'Nowhere Man' but abeautifully performed 'In Spite of All the Danger'. They say it's along way to the top if you wanna rock n' roll; in Nowhere Boy we cansee where it, and we, all began.

  5. Framescourer from London, UK
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    Sam Taylor-Wood's story of the adolescent John Lennon is anentertaining and occasionally touching film. I enjoyed it for the storyof a young lad belligerently (and often fearfully) confronting theinevitable revelation of his past and constructing some sort of future.Taylor-Wood has consciously avoided any direct reference to the manthat we all knew John Lennon would become, although there are implicitsignposts placed in the visual narrative. Instead, his part in creatingThe Beatles assumed, the director concentrates on the (far from) simplefacts of his coming of age, acquaintance with music and with realpanache, the social climate in which this all came about.

    The central narrative concerns the ying and yang relationships thatJohn has with his aunt Mimi and rediscovered mother Julia. It is hardto imagine how these three parts would be better played than byyou're-not- fooling-anyone-ice-queen Kristin Scott-Thomas and theeffervescent life- force of Anne Marie Duff (respsectively). There'ssome fine screen acting going on here. Yet the tortured break with aprosaic, echt- English aunt and the intense, Oedipal love for airresistible mother would be nothing without the right John – and whereAaron Johnson's been, I've no idea. His great ability is to trip offendless social anachronisms, turns of phrase that would seem un-PC,ill-advised or simply too cheeky today with a body language to suggestthat he has no idea of the ramifications or combativeness of such anattitude. This is what makes the rock-n-roll, about to burst from theback of the screen (like the Third Reich in Haneke's White Ribbon) sopalpable, so believable.

    A good film, told, briskly and with rich nuance. 7/10

  6. JonnyHavey from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    Nowhere Boy is a film based the biography, Imagine This: Growing UpWith My Brother John Lennon," written by his half sister Julia Baird.It tells the untold story of the late teenage years of one of thegreatest musicians of all time, John Lennon and the strong influenceshis mother Julia Lennon (Anne-Marie Duff) and his aunt Mimi Smith(Kristin Scott Thomas) who created the foundation for his future as aperson and the indelible mark he was about to leave on music forever.The film has created quite a racket throughout the UK since its releasein December 2009 capturing four well deserved British Academy FilmAward nominations including; Outstanding British Film, Best SupportingActress Anne-Marie Duff and Kristen Scott Thomas and OutstandingDirector Debut Sam Taylor Wood. These awards are the fire that the filmis running off of for its debut in the United States this month.

    Aaron Johnsons does a very good interpretation of his character JohnLennon and reveals the mischievous antics of the teen aged John Lennonand the constant internal battle Lennon fought inside of himself tofind out who he was. He is guided by the outstanding performances ofDuff and Thomas as his guardians through his very rough childhood. Duffleads the cast with the best performance in the entire film byseamlessly embodying the character of John Lennon's mother Julia andhas an American Oscar Nomination waiting for her in the upcomingmonths. These performances combined with the unique storytelling styleof Director Wood and writer Matthew Greenhalgh with the help of JuliaBaird's memoirs have created a film that is very different than a lotof films that focus on the lives of renown figures in history. They dothis by focusing a narrow period of time allowing them to delve deepinto the plot and story development giving the audience time to take inthe entirety of the story, instead of stretching the film over a twentyplus year period of time.

    The integrity that Wood and Greenhlgh produce with this style offilming allows the acting performances to flourish and creates the lostpersona of the John Lennon, to be fully exemplified. I recommend seeingit now in order to be apart of the audience taken on the journey ofNowhere Boy. This journey of the "Nowhere Boy" himself is embodied bythe lyric of the following song Mother from his debut solo album JohnLennon/Plastic Ono Band, "Mother, you had me but I never had you. Iwanted you, you didn't want me. So I just got to tell you goodbye,goodbye…"

  7. Ali_Catterall from London, England
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    Pop, as quite a few musicologists have observed, is 'mom': a couple ofthree letter words with a deep symbiotic relationship. A relationshipoccasionally verging, as Nowhere Boy suggests, on the inappropriate.From Jim Morrison scandalously acting out the myth of Oedipus in 'TheEnd', to Roger Waters plaintively asking his suffocating matriarch "Doyou think she's good enough for me?" in Pink Floyd's The Wall, thehistory of 'mother love' among male singers is long.

    John Lennon, a hierophant among pop's arch-confessors, certainly hadhis fair share of 'mother issues', as evinced by the White Album's'Julia', a supremely moving and delicate tribute to his late mother,lyrically enmeshed with a love poem to Yoko Ono. Later, on his debutsolo album, he'd give full vent to the peculiarly ambiguousrelationship via a full-throated primal scream: "Mother, you had me,but I never had you."

    That ambiguity lies at the heart of artist Sam Taylor-Wood's firstfull-length feature, the first Lennon biopic to brave a fullerexcavation of one of pop's saddest back stories, and one of its mostcomplicated psychologies; a man with a distinctlywham-bam-thank-you-ma'am attitude toward the fairer sex, but who'd alsorefer to Ono as 'Mother.'

    As chronicled in the film, we see how the boy Lennon was raised by hisaunt, Mary 'Mimi' Smith, who took him in after it was thought that heryounger sister was incapable of looking after him properly. In histeens, which is when the film properly begins, he goes on to pinballbetween the two very different women, the stoic Mimi (a surprisinglywell-cast Kristin Scott Thomas, transplanting that glorious sang-froidto Liverpool) and the flighty, possibly manic-depressive Julia (AnneMarie Duff, also excellent). Living just round the corner, and closerto her son's age, Julia buys him his first guitar, and introduces himto rock 'n' roll, before, tragically, she's knocked down and killed byan off-duty drunk-driving policeman when Lennon is 17.

    In Matt (Control) Greenhalgh's screenplay, we first spot Julia lurkingin the cemetery, during a funeral for John's Uncle George; she isalready among the dead. And there is something truly doomed about her,a butterfly fluttering toward the flame, as her belated reunion withJohn approaches, though never quite nudges, incest. "I love you, you'remy dream" the ultimate MILF tells him, during a mother and son's strolldown Blackpool promenade that feels uncomfortably close to a date. Andshe tells him what the phrase 'rock n roll' really means, whileflirting with sailors in front of the jealous guy. "She'll hurt you"warns Mimi, lashing her metaphorical apron strings like steel whips.Adding, "Your mother has always needed company. Do you know what I meanby 'company'?"

    This is tough stuff. With the exception of Christopher Munch's lo-fimasterpiece The Hours And Times, it's darker than previous Beatlesbiopics, and though it takes a few liberties with the timeline, theemotional honesty rings true. As far as these kinds of parcelledmiddlebrow dramas go (in which everyone achieves a tidy sort ofredemption and closure before the credits), it is perfectlyrespectable. But it is also significantly, perhaps even fatally,flawed.

    Despite some gripes, it's not tremendously important that the actorsplaying the nascent Beatles look nothing like their real-lifecounterparts; although, in all honesty, Barack Obama, Devendra Banhartand Robert Pershing Wadlow (the world's tallest man, 1918-1940) lookmore like John, George and Paul than this bunch.

    But in casting Aaron Johnson as Lennon, you can't help thinking theproducers have gone for beauty and youth over dynamism. Johnson (who,in a fairground-mirror reflection of the dynamic playing out on screenhas just become engaged to the much older Sam Taylor Wood) possessesthe artist's dreaminess – actually, he has something of the puppy-eyedpre-Saturday Night Fever Travolta about him – but lacks brittleness.The hardness. The element that made Ian Hart's rendition soconclusively definitive in The Hours And Times and Backbeat. Even whenhead-butting fellow band members, you can tell his heart isn't reallyin it. This current vogue for casting pretty boys in big leading roles(see: Robert Pattinson's Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, Zac Efron in MeAnd Orson Welles) may be honey to the box office bee, but it'srailroading pictures. And anyway, the thing about Lennon was, he wasn'tpretty. That was Paul's job.

    There is also an appallingly clunky wedge of exposition in the finalact, which seems to zoom in from nowhere, as Mimi relates to thetearful lad and the quaking Julia how her sister and Lennon's errantfather Alf fought for ownership of the boy. It's awful andembarrassing, with Gothic, doomy chords punctuating the drama, likesomething out of a Jane Austen adaptation, while Mimi might as well beintoning, "Gather ye round and harken! It was a dark and stormynight…" It's a mystifying misstep in a film that previously onlyimplies and hints at childhood trauma in flashback, and is all the morepowerful for it.

    More successfully evoked is the mothballed late 1950s, but also a senseof real change coming up from the streets. The Beatles' origin story isalso well realised, with Lennon furiously attempting to stamp his willon an ersatz family. In Paul McCartney (Thomas Sangster), he'd find atalent to match his own, and a more pragmatic, prematurely world-wearyconfidante; McCartney's mother died two years before John's. In perhapsthe most moving scene of all, the then Quarrymen file into PercyPhillips' Liverpool recording studio in 1958 to lay down the track 'Inspite of all the danger.' The sense of lost boys mewling for theirabsent mothers is palpable.

  8. thomasjwilliams from Kansas City, MO, USA
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    I guess this would be considered an "a moment-in-the-life-of-biopic" asit focuses on only a couple of years of pre-Beatles John Lennon's lifein Liverpool, England (and not his entire life). It is an interestingstory and one I did not know. It asks and answers the question: Wheredid Lennon get his start and love for music?

    The film's subject matter — the early life of John Lennon — madeNowhere Boy an interesting story and sell for me; and since the actingin the movie happened to be stellar — it was a bonus. Aaron Johnson(Kick-Ass) does a decent job as the 15-year-old Lennon and proves to beone to watch as he's going to have a long career although the realacting "glory" of the film belongs to the two lead females who are leftto battle it out as Lennon's motherly figure(s). Kristin Scott Thomas(Four Weddings and a Funeral, The English Patient) plays his aunt whohas raised John from early infant-hood as her sister was considered tobe an unlikely parent/guardian. In the film, John stumbles upon hisbirth mother out of curiosity and becomes intrigued with her demeanor.Actress Anne-Marie Duff (Notes on a Scandal, The Last Station) israther revelatory here (BOTH her and Scott Thomas deservingly earned2010 BAFTA nominations for these very roles).

    The story is sentimental and tragic and it is tied together quitenicely by the three lead players who all play off of each other verywell and convincingly (Duff is flighty, Scott Thomas is concerned andJohnson is a free soul). The young Lennon becomes a mixture of the twowomen (a poetic rebel) and their influences are highly evident in thefilm and his later music.

    Any Beatles fan should check this one out. It isn't full of Hey Jude'sand Elinor Rigby's but this is Pre-Beatles (we do meet a young Paul) sowe get a taste of the kid before he become our "Nowhere Boy".

  9. jmason72-1 from Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    You don't have to be a fan of the Beatles to enjoy this film. I'm ahuge fan and already knew the story, but my friend didn't and we bothfound it extraordinary. I've disliked almost every film about theBeatles – mostly because they're so clichéd and focus on them findingfame. This is not about the Bealtes – it is a movie about a young manreuniting with his mother. The young boy just happens to be JohnLennon.

    Aaron Johnson is perfectly cast as John Lennon – he may not like likeLennon, but who cares. His performance is near perfect, playing Lennonas brittle, lost, crass, sweet, caring and charismatic – much like theman himself. Kristen Scott-Thomas portrays Aunt Mimi with such aplombthat it's hard not to love Mimi despite her cool exterior and inabilityto openly show her emotions. Ann Maree Duff plays Lennon's mother witha complexity of spirit and if you know the lyrical references inLennon's songs to Julia, then you will love her performance all themore.

    And those is minor roles also excel. Thomas Sangster as Paul McCartney(again he doesn't look remotely like Paul – again who cares) is simplyexcellent. The film portrays the early relationship between Paul andJohn. John teaching Paul not to be such a sop and Paul teaching John tobe more controlled. One of the most moving scenes is when the two menembrace at Julia's funeral – a bond between two boys who both losttheir mothers. The film implies that although the two deeply respectedeach other – it was never a truly easy relationship. Sangster lights upthe screen whenever he appears.

    If you are expecting a movie about the Beatles – this is not it. Thisis a film about relationships between mothers and sons, sisters andfriends. If you like your movies complex and intricately written – thenthis is for you.

  10. Saad Khan from Pakistan
    30 Mar 2012, 3:30 am

    NOWHERE BOY – CATCH IT ( A ) Based upon the early life of Mr. JohnLennon, this movie is truly wonderful… best thing about the movie isit's more of a British family drama then changed into totally musicextravaganza… AarOn Johnson is undoubtedly the Best young Actor around… His portrayal of john Lennon' s is just incredible…from sweetness, towitness and cockiness… he grapes perfectly on all parts of JohnLennon's behavior. Other incredible performance in the movie is byAnne-Marie Duff… She is outstanding, she is so good that I actuallyforgot that I m watching a movie and she is playing her role… Youjust want to see her previous work that good she is in thismovie…Kristin Scott Thomas gave another great performance… Allthese three actors make the movie believable and if John Lennon wouldhave been alive today… must be proud of them… In the end 1st timeDirector Sam Taylor-Wood did an excellent job with the story and movie.I still think about the movie and want to watch all over again.

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