Group Stages – Round 1: Nowhere Boy (ENG) vs BYE (ALG)
by Nicholas Robinson
The first half: Imagine John Lennon (Aaron Johnson)’s childhood A spirited teenager, curious, sharp and funny, growing up in the shattered city of Liverpool. Two extraordinary sisters tussle for his love – Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas), the formidable aunt who raised him from the age of 5 and Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), the spirited mother who gave him up to Mimi’s care. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into art and the new music flooding in from the US. His fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the young Paul McCartney (Thomas Sangster). But just as John’s new life begins, the truth about his past leads to a tragedy he would never escape. – IMDB.com
After I saw Kick-Ass a few months ago when it came out I was up for anything that Aaron Johnson was in. So when I saw the trailer for this movie a little after that I said to myself: “Aaron Johnson AND the Beatles??? I’m in.” I was not disappointed. There was good acting, a good story and some really cool music.
The acting in this movie was good all around but as always, some people get extra special mention. Aaron Johnson did wonderfully as John Lennon, the carefree teenager who isn’t really that care free. He showed his playful side but he also showed how emotional he could get when it was needed. Kristin Scott Thomas was also really good (and no I am not Jeremy Clarkson) as Aunt Mimi. She shows her love without breaking that seemingly unflappable stature of hers as only an actress of her caliber could. Anne-Marie Duff plays John’s love junkie of a mother very well and shows her range by not only being the “love junkie” but also the sickly mother and the emotional mother that this story requires. Thomas Sangster also does a good job as Paul McCartney, even though he could have been given a bit more screen time.
The story of John Lennon’s early life is very good and very emotional. When I saw the trailer I thought this movie was about the Beatles. I was wrong. As it turned out, it was about the group John Lennon made before the Beatles called the Quarrymen and I think it is a wonderful precursor to a movie that I hope will get made about the years of the Beatles. It really is a good way to tell the story of how John Lennon became the man who he was when the Beatles started.
My only real problem with the movie was that it didn’t give the minor characters a lot of chances to shine. Personally, I’d have loved to hear more Quarrymen music and see more of Julia’s family and some of the other minor characters but it is the way it is and I have to accept that.
Overall, it’s a fun movie that I think a lot of people will get a lot of laughs and maybe even a tear or two from watching it and will like getting that feeling too.
IMDB says 7/10
RT says 83%
I say 8/10
The second half: Algeria has been designated as a bye team and so automatically receives a score of 0/10.
The result: England wins. England 8 – 0 Algeria.