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 Post subject: Nowhere Boy
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:28 pm 
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Just saw the film Nowhere Boy. Mixed feelings. I like that it's a film about Beatles, before they were famous, which is rather unusual. On the main topics, it does a pretty good job at being authentic; that is, as far as we know the facts from reliable sources, they seem to be represented rather accurately. I particularly liked the scene where they record their first 'acetate' record in a room-sized studio in Liverpool. And the famous Woolton fete is done well too.

I supposte that's one of its weaknesses as well; for the seasoned Beatles fan, it contains little new or unknown (at least to me).

Besides these interesting events in Beatles history, the plot mainly revolves around John's relationship with his aunt Mimi and his mother Julia. And there, I begin to feel less satisfied with the film. All in all, it pictures Mimi as a rather unpleasant, cold, character, unable to fully understand John, and wrestling John away from his lovely mother Julia; at the same time Julia is pictured rather more favourably that she is portrayed by other sources. After reading up a bit, I found out that the script is based on a book by Julia Baird, John's halfsister, who lived with Julia (his mother). No wonder she sided more with Julia than Mimi, and - in my opinion - the film should have corrected for this bias, there is enough independent info about Mimi and Julia's releationship in other books etc.

And that brings me to my main objection to Nowhere Boy; having watched it, I still had the feeling
something was missing from the film. It's pretty complete in describing John's environment, family and friends; e.g, it features Pete Shotton, Nigel Walley, George Smith, his half-sisters, Paul & George...... Have you also noticed who is not shown or mentioned at all ? Cynthia ! I'm pretty sure she was his steady girlfriend at the period that the film portrays, but there is no reference to Cynthia at all in the whole film. The one occasion that she might feature in , is when John has casul lsex (in the bathroom) with a blond girl; she is not named, but it could well be a stab at Cynthia.

Why ? I found that Yoko Ono endorsed the film, and even supported it; based on past experience, Yoko would only do that if history is re-written to her liking. Obviously, a loving and happy John & Cynthia couple does not feature in Yoko's history book. This also explains why McCartney looks like a troll, and appears to be much shorter than Lennon. 'Of course', John is by far the dominanat figure in his relationship with Paul, even going so far as punching Paul in the face; don't think this is supported by any independent sources....

Some other points bothered me as well, but they are shown with such subtlety that it is harder to prove:
In some scenes, it is suggested that John and his mother have physical contact that goes beyond what we would expect from such a relationship; I don't know if this originates with Julia Baird, or the infamous scene on the Lennon tapes.

Even less substantiated is the suggestion that Mimi has an affair with a lodger (a biochemistry
student) after she is widowed. I've read these rumours before, but there is no evidence for it, and it is just used in the film to discredit Mimi (in the sense that she criticizes Julia for sleeping around, while Mimi -allegedly - had affairs herself.

So, hence my mixed feelings: interesting period in John's life, pretty accurate on factual matters, but too much suggestion - or even outright falsification - to please the Yoko Ono/Julia Baird way or
reedefining John's youth.

Any one seen it ?


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 Post subject: Re: Nowhere Boy
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:38 am 
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I saw it a few months back, and was also surprised by no Cynthia. Your reasoning about Yoko seems to be a good explanation. But if I recall, where was Stu? I thought he was a big part of John's life by this time. Still enjoyed the movie.


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