Nowhere Boy (15)



Drama (2009)
97mins UK

Starring: David Morrissey, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff, Thomas Sangster, Aaron Johnson, David Threlfall
Director: Sam Taylor-Wood
Writer(s): Matt Greenhalgh
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

The young John Lennon is at odds with his Aunt Mimi after the sudden death of his uncle, George. In the throes of grief, John seeks out his biological mother, Julia, and is dazzled by the impulsive free spirit and her carefree ways. She buys him a guitar and encourages him to follow his dreams, introducing the teenager to Elvis. Julia conceals her tendency to fall into deep depression and young John finds himself torn between the two women.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

LondonNet Film Review
Nowhere Boy

On December 8, 1980, the world mourned the death of John Lennon at the hands of stalker Mark David Chapman on the streets of New York City...

John Lennon ( Aaron Johnson)and Paul McCartney ( Thomas Brodie Sangster). Icon Film distributionThe tragedy immortalised the bespectacled former Beatle, and robbed us of an incredible songwriter and humanitarian. Celebrated conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood makes her directorial film debut with this valentine to Lennon's formative years, based on the memoirs of his half-sister Julia Baird. Matt Greenhalgh, who penned the script to the award-winning Ian Curtis biopic Control, delivers a similarly polished screenplay here that plunges the characters headfirst into a maelstrom of destructive emotions.

The film opens in 1955 Liverpool with 15-year-old John (Aaron Johnson) at odds with his emotionally-repressed Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas). Thankfully, Uncle George (David Threlfall) is a soft touch and indulges the boy's whims, buying him his first harmonica. When George dies from a sudden heart attack, John turns to Mimi for comfort but she pushes him away, telling him not to cry in public. "If you want to do that, go to your room," she instructs. In the throes of grief, John takes the advice of his cousin Stan (James Johnson) and seeks out his biological mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff). Nervous at first, the teenager is quickly dazzled by the impulsive free spirit and her carefree ways. She buys him a guitar and encourages him to follow his dreams, introducing the teenager to Elvis. "Do you know what it means, rock'n'roll? Sex!" whoops Julia, as her common-law husband Bobby (David Morrissey) watches with mounting concern. However, the giggles and bright red lipstick conceal a tendency to fall into deep depression, and young John finds himself torn between the two women. "She's going to hurt you, you know that," warns Mimi, but her words fall on deaf ears. Nowhere Boy is a handsomely-crafted evocation of the 1950s, shot on location in Merseyside, which subtly reveals the personal anguish that led to Lennon meeting the young Paul McCartney (Thomas Sangster) and George Harrison (Sam Bell), and forming his first band.

NOWHERE BOY. Icon Film distributionJohnson is incredibly watchable in the lead role, capturing that volatile mix of youthful bravado and vulnerability, with terrific support from Thomas and Duff. The fractious exchanges between John and tight-lipped Mimi are the film's beating heart, culminating in a lump in throat moment when he asks his aunt to sign a document where it says "parent or guardian". "Which am I?" she asks. "Both," he smiles tenderly. Fittingly, Nowhere Boy ends on a sombre and melancholic note, and a touching promise to Mimi that John honoured for the rest of his life.

- Sam Cannon


London Cinemas

From Friday 4th September
To Thursday 10th September

- The Cat's Back
From Friday 11th September
To Thursday 17th September

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 4th September
To Thursday 10th September

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.
From Friday 11th September
To Thursday 17th September

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index