Nowhere Boy

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(2009) ★★

Film4: Monday 19 October, 1.10am

Aaron Johnson as the teenage John Lennon, growing up tough with his unhappy aunt Mimi (the reliably excellent Kristin Scott Thomas) in 1950s Liverpool. And already certain of his own genius. A complete fiction, said Paul McCartney of Sam Taylor-Wood’s debut feature. It’s surprisingly artless, decorated here and there with montages, dream scenes and – rarely a sound move – speeded-up inserts.

Matt Greenhalgh previously wrote the Ian Curtis biopic, Control, but this script compares unfavourably with the 2000 NBC TV movie In His Life, starring Phillip McQuillan. Faced with a choice between seeing either of them again, I’d sooner opt for Dick Lester’s 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night. Better yet, stick on any old Beatles record. In My Life, preferably. It’ll tell you all you need to know. In real life, Taylor-Wood married her young leading man.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 93min

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