Hopefully I’ll get to the cinema over the Christmas break – Avatar in 3D looks set to be monumental and I’d like to see Where the Wild Things Are on a big screen, too – but perhaps top of my list is Nowhere Boy, the movie about John Lennon’s teenage years. It’s out on Boxing Day in the UK, and the early word from Kermode – my film oracle – is that it’s pretty good. The Guardian is less keen, but the details sound great:
“Perhaps [Director Sam] Taylor Wood’s wittiest touch is to begin her film with the first, jangling chord from A Hard Day’s Night, which is simply allowed to hang there unresolved in the silence – a weirdly atonal effect, replacing the song’s happy connotations with something more disturbing: a harbinger of something momentous.”
The script, reviewed by the excellent Script Shadow, focusses on Lennon’s relationship with his mother, Julia, and his Aunt, Mimi. It frames Julia as a free spirit who portends the coming of the 60s – with its focus on creativity, self determination and individualism, even at the expense of community, responsibility and sanity, while Mimi as representative of traditional values and structure. As well as being dramatically strong, it’s not a completely inaccurate way to go about the story, and Lennon did come to see his relationship with Julia as embodying something psychically crucial – the song he finally named after her, included on 1968’s The White Album, makes explicit the transference of affection between Julia and Yoko, with its purring reference to the calls of the ‘ocean child’, a play on the literal interpretation of the kanji for Yoko (洋子).
Anyway, the trailer for the film is embedded below. Sadly, the music choices (yes, choices, in a trailer) seem to miss the mark – surely it should be some rock and roll music (any old way you choose it)?