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:: Nowhere Boy

Back in 2007 my favourite film for the year was ‘Control’, the no-holds-barred story of Ian Curtis, the troubled lead-singer of legendary music group, Joy Division. Well, the screenwriter (Matt Greenhalgh) responsible for that sensational film has now turned his attention to one of the world’s greatest music legends, John Lennon. Like ‘Control’ ‘Nowhere Boy’ reveals information about a music legend that really only hardened music fans would now, and it is also an amazing film that simply can’t be missed.

Together with ‘UK-director-of-the-moment’, Sam Taylor Wood, Greenhalgh really does explore all the ins and outs of an early John Lennon’s (Aaron Johnson) life. It shows Lennon’s strict upbringing he has, not only at his school but also under the care of his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas). It is also shows the young Lennon desperately trying to start a relationship with his estranged mother, Julia (Anne-Marie Duff). And of course the film also shows Lennon’s musically journey and shows him meeting (but not necessarily originally liking) George Harrison (Sam Bell) and Paul McCartney (Thomas Sangster).

You really do get the feeling that ‘Nowhere Boy’ is the kind of film that will appeal to hardened Lennon fans as well as those who barely know the man existed. And while director Wood does a magnificent job adapting this story for the big screen the most important part of this film was the casting. If they had got that wrong then ‘Nowhere Boy’ would have fallen in a heap. Luckily they got it right; Aaron Johnson does an amazing job in the role of Lennon and his scenes with Kristin Scott Thomas are amazing. The two bounce off each beautifully, and Johnson goes through his paces pulling off a tough role with relative ease. No matter what emotion Johnson is called upon to pull off he does in such a way that even when Lennon is at his ‘bratiest’ you can’t help but be totally behind him. Another actor to watch is Thomas Sangster who promises a lot in the role of Paul McCartney.

Still most of the credit for ‘Nowhere Boy’ being such a great film has to lie with Matt Greenhalgh. Like he did with Ian Curtis, he exposes all the good and the bad about Lennon’s life, all while making this a heart-wrenching watch that is likely to stick with you a long time. Some of the emotional scenes here are harsh and confronting but are so well-written that you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen.

‘Nowhere Boy’ is one of the films of the year. It is impossible to fault and goes very close to being the perfect film. The story is gripping and captivating while the acting performances are some of the best you are ever likely to see. If you think you know the Lennon story then ‘Nowhere Boy’ will show you, that you don’t know nothing yet.