Monday, November 29, 2010

Nowhere Boy - Sam Taylor-Wood (2009)

John Lennon wasn’t just one of the most influential musicians of the last 50 years. He wrote words that became synonymous with peace.

His childhood was lonely, so how could a film about his life be so excruciatingly tedious to sit through?

Boring sad childhood.
Boring young lust.

Aaron Johnson, who plays Lennon, sleepwalks through the entire film and he looks like he’s just about as bored as all of us are.

Boring, boring, contrived conflicted repeated in somewhat different settings.

“We’re horrible authority figures.”

“Well, I’m a young, rebellious whippersnapper, so watch it.”

Kirsten Scott Thomas plays John Lennon’s aunt, who raised the lad. His mother doesn’t live far, and John goes over to visit a lot.

Of course, there’s a whole lot of angst going on. Mostly about "Why, oh why did mummy give me up?"

SPOILER: It’s because Lennon’s aunt convinced Social Services that she should have custody because she was a single mother and loose women make bad mothers.

Lennon’s step-common-law-father is played by David Morrissey. I wondered to myself why they bothered casting someone like David Morrissey in such a throwaway, routine, stock role.

Then, I wondered why they were making this movie in the first place.

“Nowhere Boy” drags on for 45 minutes or so with no mercy killing in sight until finally John’s aunt buys him a guitar.

Never mind that it’s completely out of character for her.

Just thank God for the sake of the movie that she did so we can listen to the Quarrymen, Lennon’s pre-Beatles band, for a bit.

Along the way, on the music front, John meets a very young Paul McCartney, played by Thomas Sangster, best known for his stellar performance as the voice of “Ferb” from Disney’s animated series “Phineas and Ferb.”

Sadly, the music doesn’t last long and we’re back to the sad but monotonous life of the lad who would one day be John Lennon but for now, is just some kid living an angst-ridden life.

The rest of the movie follows the pattern of the first act.

More boring angst, followed by boring tragedy and then, young John is off to start a new band the screenwriters don’t mention the name of.

I assume they thought they were being clever.

If you're really bent on watching something about John Lennon or his music or anything related to the Beatles, watch "Hard Day's Night," "Yellow Submarine" or even Iain Softley's "Backbeat."

Better yet, just go and listen to "Imagine" or "Double Fantasy."

Or watch an episode of "Phineas and Ferb." It doesn't have anything to do with John Lennon, but it's not nearly the waste of your time "Nowhere Boy" is.

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