— by RACHEL COYNE —
I’ve never thought of any of the Beatles as having once been children; I always assumed they just sprang onto Earth as fully-formed musical gods. But “Nowhere Boy” challenges my theory as it presents a dramatic look at the childhood of John Lennon.
As far as celebrity biopics go, “Nowhere Boy” seems to play a bit fast and loose with the actual events of Lennon’s life, preferring to present a compelling drama rather than an accurate biographical sketch. The cast is made up of mostly unknown British actors, with Kristin Scott Thomas — as Lennon’s stern aunt who raises him after his parents split and his mother abandons him — being the most notable face in the crowd.
Due to his family upheaval and a longing for some sense of normalcy, young Lennon discovers the world of music in general, U.S. rock ‘n’ roll in particular, which eventually leads him to meet up with young Paul McCartney. The two form a band together, and eventually come to the realization, “If we’re going to do this, we should write our own stuff.” You can probably imagine where things go from there; it’s easy if you try.
After watching the trailer, I have two initial reactions:
This looks like a pretty inaccurate and misleading biopic.
This looks like it could be an entertaining drama about a talented young musician.
If “Nowhere Boy” tries to market itself as a true biographical look at Lennon’s early years, it will probably do both itself and its potential audience a great disservice. But if it makes it clear that this is a fictionalized drama based around a true story, it could find the audience it’s looking for.
“Nowhere Boy” — which premiered in the UK last Christmas — will arrive the US Oct. 8.
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Follow Rachel Coyne on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TheOpinionatedB.