Yesterday, I went to see Nowhere Boy, a biography of John Lennon that stars Aaron Johnson as John, Kristin Scott Thomas as Aunt Mimi and Anne-Marie Duff as Julia. The story only covers a year or so in John’s life, and it ends just after his mother, Julia, dies after being hit by a car. I don’t know exactly how accurate it is, but I do know that I really enjoyed it.
The soundtrack includes 50s classics such as “Wild One” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Be-Bop-a-Lula” by Gene Vincent, “Shake, Rattle And Roll” by Elvis Presley and “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The music was wonderful, and I was very impressed that Johnson and some of the other actors who played members of the Quarrymen did their own singing in the film. Johnson sings “Hello Little Girl,” a song that was written by John Lennon (but later credited to the Lennon/McCartney partnership), but which I had only ever heard sung by The Fourmost. Here is a version by Gerry and the Pacemakers, and here is a version by the Silver Beatles (John, Paul, George and Pete), along with a version that sounds as if it were recorded in a bathroom. My favorite is the version by The Fourmost and, when I heard “John” sing the song in the movie, I figured he was doing a cover of someone else’s song because I never knew until today that John had written it. It’s not his best effort, but it’s still better than a lot of other people’s songs.
Paul is played by Thomas Sangster, who some of you will recognize from Nanny McPhee (one of Colin Firth’s sons) and Love, Actually (Liam Neeson’s stepson). George is played by Sam Bell, who does not have any IMDb credits so, if you don’t recognize him, that’s OK.
I can see myself owning this movie and watching it periodically over the years, and I certainly intend to own the soundtrack. While some of it is likely inaccurate, Yoko Ono has signed off on the movie, and there are pictures of the real John as a young boy in Mimi’s house. After the film ends and just before the closing credits, we see other photos of John and his friends and family from the period. This film has nothing to do with the Beatles, which is OK. It’s still enjoyable and I still recommend it.