...watching a movie that moves you to tears, at a reduced price to boot! ;) This morning I went to "Nowhere Boy", a biopic about John Lennon, beginning at the very start of his musical interests until his departure for Hamburg, where the career of The Beatles really begins.
The story of his young life isn't exactly a sad one in every respect but not a happy one either. One that lacks the warmth and love every child needs: he was raised by his aunt, a rather introverted woman who simply cannot or doesn't want to show her emotions, and an uncle who's great fun, but dies unexpectedly. His biological mother is kept away from him for reasons the movie will reveal later. Scenes that had a great impact on me... Anyway, John's an adolescent like any other boy... naughty tricks, macho like behaviour, alcohol, cigarettes (boy, people seemingly smoked all the time in those days!), girls... etc. when he - against his aunt's wishes - secretly gets in touch with his real mother again, his love for rock 'n roll is born, and he finds out how much music means to him. While doing really bad at school, getting suspended all the time, rather writing poetry and drawing than paying attention during history class, he's at one point determined to form a group. Through friends he gets acquainted with Paul McCartney and, later, with George Harrison... Well, the rest is history.
What I particularly liked about the movie was the perfect late Fifties and early Sixties atmosphere. The aunt and the mother, an elder and younger sister, symbolize a sort of transition between the rather rigid Fifties and the more cheerful Sixties, the boy Lennon being torn between these two women, so between two eras. The atmosphere of the era is rendered so well, the social circumstances, the city of Liverpool, the accent... I could almost smell it all! Not so surprisingly though, I was a child myself at the time. Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff as the aunt and mother respectively do an amazing job (well, I didn't expect anything less), as does Aaron Johnson who plays John Lennon. The looks, the emotions, the voice... fabulous, and that for such a young actor. Thomas Sangster as Paul McCartney couldn't have been cast better and that counts also for David Morrissey as the partner of John's mother.
The movie has drama, quite a bit of it, and what happens to his mum is quite shocking and unexpected if you don't know her history, but it never becomes melodramatic or sentimental, and there's ample opportunity for smiles.
Warning: don't expect this to be a Beatles movie. It isn't, it's about John Lennon as a teenager. I specifically say this, otherwise one could become disappointed. The other Beatles characters are not really explored. However, if you think John Lennon interesting enough - as I - this movie is a must see. :D
On a side note: John Lennon died December 8, 1980, exactly 30 years ago, on my father's 61st birthday. :( But for my sisters and me it was wonderful to see this movie together with our father. :)