Starring Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff. Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood. 98 minutes. 14A
Maybe you’ve been told this film is not about The Beatles. But it is. It’s insane to say it’s not. Yes, it’s a biopic about Lennon’s younger years, but can you honestly say that a film about one-half of possibly the greatest song-writing duo ever, who wrote the majority of The Beatles’ songs, making them an international phenomenon, is not a film about the Beatles?
Nowhere Boy meets Lennon in his teenage years. The film follows him through banjo lessons with his estranged mother, getting his first guitar, turning his poetry into music and eventually, beginning the Lennon-McCartney song-writing partnership, all the while exploring his tangled family life.
For Beatles fans: We find out more about one of the women intertwined in the Julia lyrics, the sprouts of the Lennon-McCartney song-writing partnership, and the boy behind the man who would become the man behind crazy lyrics like: “Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower. Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna. Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.”
For non-Beatles fans: This film shows that there’s more promise to Aaron Johnson’s rising name, that biopics don’t have to focus entirely on leading up to fame, and that the drama behind a rock star’s life doesn’t have to be a story about drugs and sex (though that doesn’t mean there isn’t any) but can focus on more universal themes like acceptance and imperfect families.
Although I was drawn to this film as a Beatles fan, others shouldn’t be repelled for the same reason. This film ends up being a surprisingly even mix of elements enough to reel in the long-time fan but still captivate the rest. A
DVD EXTRAS: Behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes.