Nowhere Boy Cover Have you ever considered who the Beatles were referring to when they sang, ‘He's a real nowhere man. Sitting in his nowhere land. Making all his no where plans, for nobody’? I mean, could it possibly have been anyone seen in this 99 minute movie made in 2009? Like it's Director: Sam Taylor-Wood; or one of her Actors: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, with Anne-Marie Duff. Let's see, shall we?

Nowhere Boy

Hello. My name is John Lennon (Aaron Johnson). I'm a teenager living in Liverpool, and at the moment I don't know what the f*ck is going on in my life.

Well, despite a bit of bother at school, everything was fairly fine I suppose. My Uncle George and Auntie Mimi (David Threlfall and Kristin Scott Thomas) took care of me pretty well, when suddenly -- THUNK! -- my poor old Uncle kicked the bucket, at the bloody same time my estranged Mother, Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), came drifting back into my world after many years away.

Now as expected, me and my Auntie were none to pleased by her free-spirited presence at first. We tolerated her at best. Allowing Julia to marginally integrate her and her 'new family' back into our inner-circle once more.

However, as time passed by, I really began to click with 'Julia' on so many levels. You know. Like our love for rock and roll music, for instance. Especially Elvis Presley's. In fact, this common-bond overwhelmed me to such an extent, I even managed to get Julia to teach me how to play the banjo, and I formed my own Skiffle group, called ‘The Quarry Men’.

Of course my Aunt Mimi didn't like any of this at all. Going so far as to warn me off spending too much time with her 'vagrant sister', plus my two new musical pals, Paul and George. Still. You know the old staying, don't you? What goes up must come down. And that is most probably why what next transpired all kicked off when I asked my Mum a question I've been dying to ask her since this all began... 'Mum, why did you abandon me?'. As a beat goes 'thunk' on a drum - a resolution kicks me square in the bum - I cry for my dear old Mum - and as push comes to shove, look out Hamburg, for here we come.

Normally when I watch a bio-pic I have a very unusual problem to contend with. Admittedly, this isn't a ‘normal’ occurrence for ‘normal’ people. But rather, it is due to the fact that I know about the subject matter beforehand, and I find myself trying to join the dots whilst the story begins to unravel.

Nowhere Boy Film Poster
Now I'm sure you know the type of thing I'm referring to, folks. ‘Oh! This is such and such when that thing happened to whats-his-name’. ‘Damn, that’s silly! His hair was an inch longer in real life’. ‘Wait a minute! That didn't happen then! That happened after that other thing happened’. And so on, and so on. Therefore, taking all of what I've just said into account, do you know what happened to me when I watched this John Lennon bio-pic, ‘Nowhere Boy’? A subject matter that I'm very-very-very aware of!

Nothing happened. Nothing happened at all.

I did not correct any errors. I did not complain about any accents. Plus I did not gripe about any time-shifts either. And do you know why I didn't do any of these things? It's because this was a f*cking great movie! That's why.

Obviously the main reason I say this is because this film does a number of things that I really-really do enjoy watching. For a start, it pays homage to a great man in a very realistic and artistic way. As it tells a coming of age tale by chronicling the facts, and then presenting them with a cast and a style that are just exquisite to behold.

Walls And Bridges by John Lennon
Also, their are a number of scenes in this film which literally put shivers up my spine. Especially those scenes that are particularly poignant to the overall ‘Beatles Story’. For instance, there are those emotional moments between a young Paul and a young John, where they play together back at John's place. As well as the concluding segments between Mimi, Julia, and plus the kid himself, which was... hmm... very moving indeed. Tear jerkingly moving.

From my point of view these are the type of things that makes this movie that extra bit special. Cause in no uncertain terms they define the characters, the pathos, the history, and tale in itself, and then reveals this experience as if they were ‘kitchen sink drama’.

Mind you, this comment is by no means meant as a slight, my friends. Instead, it is a way of expressing what is at the fundamental core of this film -- dramatized-truth -- and how this principle was able to elevate this story far beyond those more conventional bio-pics.

Paul and John in Nowhere Boy

The Real John Lennon and his Auntie Mimi
Anyway. By now I'm sure you can tell what I thought about this flick. It was an amazing flick. And one well worth watching for the drama alone. So I tell you what I'll do next -- here -- check out the following filmic facts. (1) 'The Weinstein Company' first screened this one point two million pound production at the 'London Film Festival' on the 26th of December, 2009, and eventually clawed back six point four million dollars at the box office. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'John Lennon: The Young Years' in Hungary; 'Here For The Music' in Portugal; and 'Tania Nervous Smoking' in Turkey. (3) This movie had a limited theatrical release in America on the same day as John Lennon's seventieth birthday -- the 9th of October, 2010. (4) Apart from those scenes shot in 'Ealing Studios', London, the rest of this movie was shot on location throughout the United Kingdom. This includes Hatch End, Ickenham, and Pinner, based in Middlesex; plus Blackpool in Lancashire; and the Sacred Heart Catholic College in Crosby. (5) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, was, 'As a boy all John Lennon needed was love'. (6) You might have noticed that the name, 'The Beatles' was never mentioned once throughout this film. Now this isn't because any of the remaining Beatles didn't want to endorse it. In fact, Paul and Yoko helped out where the characterization of Mimi was concerned. Making her more lighter and more caring than she was depicted in the script. (7) If you look very closely at the soccer poster in John's room at Mendips, you'll see a picture of a soccer player and two officials, who also appear on the cover of his 1974 solo album, 'Walls And Bridges'. (8) During production, the director of this film, Sam Taylor-Wood, plus her lead actor, Aaron Johnson, fell in love, and are still together till this very day.

John and his Mum in Nowhere Boy

Overall I'd say 'Nowhere Boy' was a bloody fabulous film. The story was an emotional one. The actors were amazing through and through. And at the end of the day I would just like to give the final word to the man this movie was all about. So it is over to you John...


NOWHERE BOY NOWHERE BOY Reviewed by David Andrews on April 24, 2014 Rating: 5
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