Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Nowhere Boy


Dir: Sam Taylor Wood - feature film directorial debut (short film Love You More)
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff, Thomas Sangster, Calum O'Toole, Jack McElhone
UK/Canada, 2010

Seen: October 15, 2010 at Varsity

Reason to see: John Lennon biopic from Sam Taylor Wood? You couldn't keep me away! It made my most anticipated films of 2010 Part 2 List

The focus of Nowhere Boy is John Lennon early days biopic. That was more than enough to get me interested and in the door, but I knew I was in for a treat as it's directed by Sam Taylor Wood as she also directed the brilliant and award winning short Love You More. In that short, she certainly showcased her adeptness and ability to understand and convey the visceral importance and effect of music during coming of age periods in life, which is a huge theme in Nowhere Boy, and done effectively well yet again.

There is something particularly astonishing about seeing one of the most well known musicians and talents from the perspective of adolescence. You see the roots of joy in music and his life, and also the challenges of everyday life of school, family and teenage rebellion and angst. All throughout it feels entirely genuine and accessible. That's what was the most astonishing to me, how normal it felt although I'm sure at the time it would be rather unusual for a teenage boy to be brought up by his aunt. It sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but it doesn't feel that way when you are watching it. There were also lots of nods to Beatles references than even I as a pedestrian fan could pick out, and I'm sure there is much more embedded for the die hard fans.

The heart of the film is not only in the music but also the family relationships, which seem to be complicated even at the best of times but they are family through and through. It's all brought to life wonderfully by the stellar cast, with Aaron Johnson in the lead a John, who has been quite the chameleon this year as he also played the lead in Kick-Ass. Mark my words, if these are just two of this performances in just one year we are going to be looking to a wonderful array of work from him in the future. We also get fantastic peformanes from Kristen Scott Thomas as Aunt Mimi, Anne-Marie Duff as Julia and Thomas Sangster as a very young Paul.

Overall, it's a wonderful film about the power of life, music, family and love that's beautifully crafted to make you feel, understand and love everyone in it. And I loved every single minute of it.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll buy it
I widely recommend it

14 minutes of preshow including 4 commercials and 4 previews: Barney's Version, The King's Speech, Made in Dagenham and The Next Three Days

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

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