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Nowhere Boy

4.2 out of 5 stars 208 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Imagine...John Lennon's childhood. Liverpool, 1955: a smart and troubled fifteen-year-old is hungry for experience. In a family full of secrets, two incredible women clash over John (Aaron Johnson): Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas), the buttoned-up aunt who raised him, and Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into the new and exciting world of rock 'n' roll where his fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney (Thomas Brodie Sangster). Just as John begins his new life, tragedy strikes. But a resilient young man finds his voice - and an icon explodes into the world.

On 1970's "Mother," John Lennon sang, "You had me, but I never had you." Fine artist-turned-filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood delves into the story behind those words, starting with a 15-year-old Lennon (Kick-Ass's Aaron Johnson, a star in the making), who lives in Liverpool with his impish uncle George (David Threlfall) and imperious aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas, all pin curls and British reserve). George's death spurs Lennon to seek out Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), his birth mother, who turns out to be surprisingly fun and flirtatious (their scenes together carry a subtle sexual tension). The mother of two daughters, Julia welcomes the opportunity to reconnect with her son, even if her common-law husband (David Morrissey, Duff's Is Anybody There? costar) doesn't share her enthusiasm. She introduces John to rock and roll and teaches him how to play the banjo--useful information when he switches to the guitar--but she also suffers from mood swings and can't always meet his emotional needs. Torn between the mother who raised him and the one who gave him life, John funnels his frustrations into music, forming the Quarrymen, but then he meets Paul McCartney (Bright Star's Thomas Sangster) and revamps the lineup to work in George Harrison and his art school colleague Stu Sutcliffe (whose biography formed the basis for Backbeat). As Lennon aficionados know, John's relationship with Julia didn't come to a happy end, but she would have a profound effect on his life--and provide the inspiration for this tenderhearted tribute. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Deleted Scenes
The Making of Nowhere Boy
Nowhere Boy: The Untold Story of John Lennon and the Creation of The Beatles

Product Details

  • Actors: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas
  • Directors: Sam Taylor Wood
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony/The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036TGT5M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,214 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nowhere Boy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 31, 2010
Format: DVD
Sam Taylor-Wood's Nowhere Boy is a marvelously moving depiction of the early life of John Lennon, covering the period from when he is about fifteen and first becoming interested in music to when he is nineteen, when he and his band, The Quarrymen, are about to leave for a gig in Hamburg that would see them emerge as the band known all over the world as the Beatles.

Everything about this film works. Not only because of a great cast of actors, but in the way that it captures the look and feel not only of Liverpool in the late 50's and early 60's, but also of the transitioning music scene of the period, dominated in the beginning by American jazz and rock & roll but soon to be overturned by what would be called (on our side of the pond anyway) as the British Invasion. One of the many remarkable achievements that Taylor-Wood manages to pull off in the film is the subtle way in which she shows Lennon starting with influences like Buddy Holly and Elvis but then slowly moving to create his own sound, particularly after he connects with an even younger Paul McCartney.

The performances of the entire cast are worthy of praise, but two I feel deserve special attention: Aaron Johnson as John Lennon, and Kristin Scott Thomas as his Aunt Mimi. Johnson was best known for his perfomance as the title character in the cult super-hero film Kick-Ass, but his immersion in Lennon's character in Nowhere Boy was so thorough that he was almost unrecognizable. Scott Thomas, a veteran actress of many films of note, including The English Patient, Four Weddings And A Funeral, and The Other Boleyn Girl, was more recognizable, but all the more remarkable for bringing off the very complex character of Lennon's Aunt Mimi, the woman who raised him from the age of five.
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Format: DVD
I have asked Amazon to delete this review from the page of the film "Which Way Home" but they have done nothing about it so far, so please ignore it if you are on that page. This review is about another film, the early years of John Lennon.

"Nowhere boy" is a quaint film about the early years of John Lennon, in post war Liverpool where he lived until the age of eighteen with his aunt Mimi, a strict and austere woman, the epitome of British propriety, who loved John but whose uptight personality prevented her from expressing this with tenderness or words of love. The role of aunt Mimi is portrayed exceedingly well by Kristin Scott Thomas. Aaron Johnson is an impetuous, impulsive young Lennon whom we are introduced to as he is speeding past the streets of Liverpool, teasing the girls and taunting the boys. He is excellent as the conflicted young man, living in an environment which he finds stifling, not giving him room and scope to express his potential.

John lives with his aunt as his father left when he was five and he is unaware of the whereabouts of his mother. His aunt is disapproving of his rebellious and audacious character, being particularly exacerbated by his poor performance at school and the disrespect he shows towards his teachers. She has also kept secret from him that her sister, John's mother, lives only a mile away from his house. A friend takes him to his mother's where John is reacquainted with the woman he has not seen since the age of five. Julia, played by Ann Marie Duff, is a complete contrast to his reserved aunt Mimi. She is emotional and totally unreserved, expressive in her love and devotion, flighty and erratic in her character. She introduces John to Rock and Roll music, explaining that it expresses uninhibited sexuality.
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25 Comments 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
There have been plenty of biographies and stories written about John Lennon, the world renown English musician and singer-songwriter, most notably known as one of the founding members of The Beatles.

But while books have covered the difficulties that John Lennon had faced during his teenage years, no one really had details of his life. All we have heard was how he didn't have a mother, how he got into a lot of trouble and used that teenage angst to form the quarrymen, his first band which led him to one of the greatest musical collaborations and that was Lennon and Paul McCartney meeting, which followed with musician George Harrison joining them and of course, going on to Hamburg, Germany where along with Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best would go on to create the band, The Beatles (at the time, were a five-member band).

But for those who wondered about John Lennon's life, especially being raised by his Aunt Mimi and his troubled relationship with his mother Julia, it was not until 1989 where Lennon's half sister Julia Baird would write the book "John Lennon, My Brother" written with Giuliano and featured a foreword by Paul McCartney. In 2007, she followed up with a second book titled "Imagine This - Growing Up with My Brother John Lennon".

In 2009, a film adaptation based on Julia Baird's biography was created. The 2009 British-Canadian biopic focused on John Lennon's adolescence, how he learned to play the guitar, the creation of this first band The Quarrymen and how he would meet Paul McCartney. But also details about his mother and his Aunt Mimi, who raised Lennon.
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