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Rated 3.26 stars
by 266 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Meet Young John Lennon
by Jeffrey Chen

Even some of the most ardent Beatles fans may not know too much about John Lennon's upbringing during the time before he formed a rock band, when he lived with his Aunt Mimi while his mother Julia was nearby, living her own life. Nowhere Boy tells this story of Lennon's relationship to these two women and packs it into a period covering his late teenage years.

Told in about as tidy a way as could be, the film focuses on rebellious John (Aaron Johnson), who's tired of Mimi's (Kristin Scott Thomas) authority and seeks out his rock-'n-roll-listening, banjo-playing mother (Anne-Marie Duff), thereby discovering his own love of playing music. Along the way, he also forms The Quarrymen, and the movie gets to press the Beatles fans' fun buttons by introducing a young Paul McCartney (Thomas Brodie Sangster) and, in a lesser role, George Harrison (Sam Bell). Actually, there are plenty more references for a Beatlemaniac, as Nowhere Boy dresses up in Beatles lore and appears eager to contribute to the canonization of Beatles mythology.

Although the story is told and acted in as polished and easy-to-digest manner as possible, at least it also boasts a lively soundtrack, capped off with a fine rendition by the actors playing The Quarrymen of the group's early demo, "In Spite of All the Danger." Nowhere Boy is a passable drama, and might make a nice double feature with Backbeat, released in 1994.

(Released by The Weinstein Company and rated "R" for language and a scene of sexuality.)

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