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Nowhere Boy

Year: 2009
Production Co: Aver Media
Director: Sam Taylor Wood
Writer: Julia Baird/Matt Greenhaigh
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Kirsten Scott Thomas, Anne Marie Duff, Thomas Sangster

Most well-made true stories have an air of authenticity if they get the fashions, technology and culture of the relevant times right, but we should remember that it's all just an interpretation of someone's (the scriptwriter) idea of what's important.

The reason I say so is because this film is centred on the same period as Backbeat (of the early genesis of The Beatles) and yet there's no mention of Stuart Sutcliffe - John Lennon's best friend and The Beatles original bassist.

It's more or less the story of a kid who acts tough but who's missing the family he never felt he had. John's (Johnson) a typical youth in the late 50s. He lives with his caring but cold Aunt, loves the burgeoning rock and roll movement and dreams of starting his own band.

When his loving Uncle dies suddenly, it kicks up a hornet's nest of ill-feeling that split John family apart before he could remember. His birth mother lives not far away, and he starts visiting her in secret, letting her lavish him with love and affection and the bohemian lifestyle he dreams of.

The skeletons in the Lennon closet start to come out as John puts together The Quarrymen and meets the man who'll be his true musical soulmate in Paul McCartney (Sangster), and tragedy strikes not long before the band's formative trip to Hamburg.

As a biopic it looks, sounds and feels fresh and well-connected in its time and place, and if you're a Beatles fan it's yet another entry into the mythology.

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