Nowhere Boy Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 9.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 9.0
Total 7.5

Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: M15+

7.5


Nowhere Boy

The death of John Lennon’s mother when the budding songwriter was only 17 was arguably the pivotal moment of his life.  The accident that took her left Lennon ‘broken hearted for weeks’ according to his Aunt, and the loss permeated countless of his later songs including Julia, My Mummy’s Dead and the heart-rending, therapy-induced Mother, with its poignant opening line ‘Mother, you had me, but I never had you/I just want to tell you goodbye.’ 

Helmed by first-time director Sam Taylor-Wood and based on the published recollections of Lennon’s half-sister, Nowhere Boy focuses on the troubled star’s turbulent early years in Liverpool, where he was raised predominantly by his stern but loving Aunt Mimi, a woman Lennon continued to respect and admire until his death in 1980.  His father was absent at sea and his relationship with his mother tenuous at best, so the teenage Lennon turned to two time-honoured outlets: girls and music. 

It was in this latter capacity that he met Paul McCartney, a talented self-taught musician eighteen months his junior.  In the mid-1950s rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were laying down the licks that would influence and enrapture an entire generation.  Lennon and McCartney were themselves no less enamoured, meeting after school (or in lieu of school) to pen songs together and jam on the music of their heroes, all of whom, with the possible exception of Elvis, they would eventually surpass on their way to forging the most successful songwriting partnership of the twentieth century. 

Crammed with rock staples and covers sung by its two leads, Nowhere Boy  also features an original score by Goldfrapp and a screenplay courtesy of Matt Greenhalgh, who adapted Deborah Curtis’s Touching From a Distance – a biography of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis – into the excellent 2007 film Control

Though Aaron Johnson is undoubtedly better known at present for his role as the titular character is Matthew Vaughan’s Kick Ass, he does an undeniably impressive job eliciting all the pain, belligerence and confusion of the pugnacious teenage Lennon.  Ann-Marie Duff (The Last Station) puts in a complex and mesmerising performance as the doomed Julia Lennon and Thomas Sangster (Love Actually) is similarly convincing as McCartney, if at times a little doe-eyed and fey. 

All in all the film serves as an excellent snapshot of the dawning of rock n’ roll, and provides an emotionally beguiling portrait of one of the most lauded, formidable and magnetic musical talents in history. 

Special Features

Audio Commentary by Director Sam Taylor-Wood

Making of Nowhere Boy featurette (8 minutes)

Lennon’s Liverpool – The Writing of Nowhere Boy (5 minutes)

Anatomy of a Scene

Theatrical Trailer

Extended interview with Sam Taylor-Wood

The Re-creation of Lennon and the Quarrymen

Deleted Scenes introduced by Sam Taylor-Wood

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