Nowhere Boy (2009) Review

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Nowhere Boy (2009)

Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood (Sam Taylor-Johnson now)

Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Anne-Marie Duff
Kristin Scott Thomas

(How many names do each of these people need??)

Running time: 99 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Nowhere Boy is a 2009 British biopic about John Lennon’s adolescence, his relationships with his guardian aunt and his mother, the creation of his first band, The Quarrymen, and its evolution into The Beatles. The film is based on a biography written by Lennon’s half-sister Julia Baird.

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My Opinion:

First of all – I love The Beatles. Well, not things like I Want To Hold Your Hand so much – more like Norwegian Wood & Dear Prudence. Actually, I did My Top Five Beatles Songs HERE (think they’ve changed a bit since).

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I like a lot of music but never know that much about the band members. Same goes for actors – I don’t like knowing TOO much of their real lives because I don’t want to have that affect how I may feel about their music or movies. I mean, Tom Cruise movies are ruined for me for life – no matter how serious the role, I just see him jumping around on a couch. Stay slightly mysterious, famous people! Like in the old days before Twitter & stuff – We don’t need to know what you’re doing every second of every day. And, FFS, don’t do a reality show!

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Um, where was I? Oh yeah – The Beatles! As much as I know & love their music, I know very little about their personal lives. I couldn’t tell you how accurate Nowhere Boy is but, wow – Lennon apparently had a pretty heartbreaking childhood. I knew none of that. I guess it goes to show that those with difficult lives really are often the most creative people. Why is that? People must have it too easy these days since most music sucks now.

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Maybe I should actually talk about the movie?? First of all, it was a little hard to buy into as Aaron Taylor-Johnson looks nothing whatsoever like John Lennon. His performance was fine but I just never really felt like I was watching a young John Lennon. Even more odd was Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Paul McCartney. Wait. What? That kid from Love Actually & Nanny McPhee?! Yeah, that one. Look at him:

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Huh? You’re Paul McCartney in this?

So it took me a while to get into this film but, maybe halfway through, I decided to just go with it and I ended up thinking it was a very interesting story and not too bad of a movie. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, although maybe hard to picture as John Lennon, was at least believable as a troubled & lonely boy who’d been abandoned by his irresponsible mother (Anne-Marie Duff) and raised by his stern aunt (Kristin Scott Thomas).

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Both women give very good performances and are what helped to sell the movie to me overall. But they’re also not famous people like Lennon – I suppose it’s very difficult to portray someone so well known to the world so I’ve maybe been a little harsh on Taylor-Johnson (I’m sick of typing Taylor-Johnson! I believe he wasn’t yet married to the director when making this so was just Johnson but he’s more famous now as Kick-Ass Taylor-Johnson so I better use the Taylor too). It’s a good insight into Lennon’s early life & what made him who he was. I don’t know if I’d recommend the film to everyone, though. It doesn’t focus on the music at all since it’s just showing us Lennon’s upbringing so don’t expect some music documentary – It won’t suddenly make you a fan of The Beatles music if you aren’t already. If you like a decent real life drama or are the slightest bit interested in knowing a little about Lennon’s early life, I’d recommend it. If you’re the world’s biggest Beatles expert, I have no idea if you’d love this or hate it because I don’t know how accurate it all is. (Sorry – What a wishy washy review! No one reads these things anyway, right?) šŸ™‚

My Rating: 6.5/10

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19 thoughts on “Nowhere Boy (2009) Review

  1. Huh. I have somehow never even heard of this, but I do love The Beatles (immensely) and once wrote a lengthy research paper on Lennon’s biography. So I’ll check it out at some point. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. šŸ™‚

  2. I saw this one a couple of years ago. I was hooked by the premise, but then quite bored by the actual movie. And I agree with you, famous people should stay mysterious to us. They shouldn’t be completely open books because it makes it difficult for us to suspend our disbelief when we keep thinking about how they’ve jumped on a couch, or what anti-semitic asshole they are (like Mel Gibson). I used to love Mel and now I can’t watch anything he’s in without thinking about what a major douchebag he is.

    • Yeah – the film was a bit boring considering he had SUCH an interesting life. And I almost mentioned Mel Gibson but knew someone probably would anyway. šŸ˜‰ Stay mysterious, famous people! When will they realize this is better for their careers? Or reputations, at least. I wonder what we’d think of stars from the 60s if they’d been tweeting every idiotic thought they had. It’s disappointing to know that so many celebs are just so… Dull! Don’t get me wrong – some are AWESOME. Like Patrick Stewart. He can tweet all he wants because he’s genuinely interesting & hilarious. šŸ™‚

  3. I didn’t love this when I saw it. I don’t think T-J is a very good actor if I’m completely honest. He can’t really carry off a leading role. Even in the Kick-Ass movies, which I love, he is kind of like a secondary character in his own film. It really does change your perception of films or music if you know the person is a dick in real life.

    • Agree – I don’t think
      T-J (good abbreviation!) is a leading man. I hate Kick-Ass but the one thing I came away with was that I at least really liked Hit-Girl. He was so blah compared to her character. And in this I came away from it thinking the two women were the best. And, yeah – I don’t want any Beatles songs ruined for me. We all know Lennon wasn’t perfect but I now also have to try to keep the image of T-J f&@”Ā£?ing that girl out of my head when I hear the beautiful Across The Universe! (I hope I censored that enough to keep the icky people away). šŸ™‚

  4. Never even heard of this one. I overlooked it somehow. (Sometimes my movie radar is offline) I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks and good review!



    this looks like something I would hate – unlike Cinema Parrot Disco which I heart.

  6. Good review. It just so happens this was on TV yesterday and I saw a bit of it. I took me several seconds to recognize ATJ or whatever his name is, I didn’t know he’s an English actor since I’ve only seen him in Kick Ass movies.

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