Nowhere Boy

"Extraordinary"

Nowhere Boy Review


This beautifully written and directed biopic has a strong ring of truth to it, mainly due to Taylor-Wood's artistic approach to filmmaking. It also features extremely complex characters and a remarkably vivid collection of events.

In 1955 Liverpool, John Lennon (Johnson) is a troubled 15-year-old, raised by his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George (Scott Thomas and Threlfall) without knowing that his wayward mother Julia (Duff) lives just around the corner. But everything's going to change, and while he tries to balance these parental relationships he's also discovering rock 'n' roll. He teams with his pal Pete (Bolt) to form a skiffle band called The Quarrymen. And interest in the band heats up when talented musicians Paul and George (Sangster and Bell) join them.

Screenwriter Greenhalgh (Control) tells this in a straightforward way that feels extremely fresh due to offbeat relationships that continually challenge us as viewers because they're not what we're used to seeing on screen.

Essentially this is the story of a bright, observant boy juggling two mothers: Duff is a blast of wild energy as the lively Julia, while Scott Thomas has the more thankless role as the pinched-but-caring Mimi. While both characters feel like movie cliches, both actresses have plenty of surprises up their sleeves.

Meanwhile, Johnson lives up to his earlier promise (see Dummy and Angus, Thongs), looking and moving eerily like the young Lennon while also creating a believable teen trying to hold on to some very big dreams against all odds. And the film certainly never lionises him. Sangster's McCartney, while less physically reminiscent, is a thoroughly believable teen as well. And their early rivalry and camaraderie is complex and fascinating to watch.

As Steve McQueen did last year with Hunger, artist-turned-filmmaker Taylor-Wood finds new cinematic vocabulary, capturing scenes with lively energy and raw beauty while never shying away from the dark side of things. There are moments of real emotional intensity along the way, a lot of raucous youthful energy and one of the most realistic teen sexual encounters ever put on film. And she finds ways to convey resonant themes about respecting yourself and others without ever being pushy about it. She's definitely a filmmaker to watch.



Nowhere Boy

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th December 2009

Box Office USA: $1.4M

Distributed by: Weinstein Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 108 Rotten: 28

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Robert Bernstein, ,

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson as John Lennon, as Mimi Smith, as Bobby Dykins, as Julia Lennon, as George Harrison, Kerrie Hayes as Corrine, as Paul McCartney


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Advertisement
Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Advertisement