Duration: 1 hr 38 mins
Release Date(UK): 25 December 2009
Genre: Music, biography, drama,
Director: Sam Taylor-Wood
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne- Marie Duff, Josh Bolt, Thomas Brodie Sangster, Sam Bell…
Description: A biographical film about John Lennon when he was 17-years-old and living in Liverpool. He had a complicated relationship with his Aunt Mimi and an even more complicated relationship with his mother, Julia. But he soon discovers he has a love and talent for music and decides to start a band – but first he’s got to find some members, that’s when he meets Paul – they don’t start off great but eventually become close friends and the band is formed.
My Thoughts: I don’t really like The Beatles (Don’t hate me!) but I watched this film anyway, just ’cause, why not? Also, I thought it would be an interesting thing to review as I know how successful they are/were and I find it interesting to learn about the past of people whether they’re actors, singers, writers etc. and whether I like them or not. I just have a general interest in people and how they live their lives (Although I don’t have any interest in actual history; wars, kings, queens etc.) and I found this film really insightful and no one can say John Lennon didn’t live a dramatic life and although it made me really sad to think that he had a life that depressing at such a young age it did make for a dramatic and gripping film. It also made me very grateful for the family I’ve got.
The cast for this film was really good, they were all really talented and gave really convincing performances. Even people with very minor parts you could see that they gave it everything they’ve got and it’s probably because they knew they were making a film about one of the most successful men ever, so you probably really felt the pressure. Anne-Marie Duff (Julia, John’s mum.) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Mimi, John’s Aunt) were both really good in their roles and they worked really well together when they were in scenes together and even better when they were apart because you could really see how different both their personalities were and how complicated and stressful it must have been for John having the two of them clash like that. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (John Lennon) did his part really well and he could give convincing performances in all kinds of emotional states. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, although he played Paul McCartney, had a slightly minor role (he only appeared about halfway through), but his part got slightly larger as the film got closer to the end. But as always Thomas was absolutely incredible in his role, he gave a really convincing performance – full of emotion when needed – and it was really entertaining to watch him on screen. And the chemistry between him and Aaron was really good and whether they actually got on in real life or not it didn’t matter because on screen they worked really well with each other and it was really great to see them perform together.
I found myself confused through some of the film and I understand that in some ways that was because John himself was confused, he wasn’t clear on how he’d ended up in the situation he was in and he felt betrayed by his mother and angry at his aunt and at the entire world around him and I feel like we were just kind of thrown into the 17-year-old life of John Lennon without explaining anything (luckily I’d wikipediaed John briefly before watching the film) and I feel like yes, some people watching the film are most likely massive Beatles fans but some people – like me – have no prior knowledge of the Beatles at all other than knowing their one of the most famous bands ever and probably knowing a few of their songs. So I feel like a bit of explanation might have been good at the start but it’s okay because close to the end of the film there was a really dramatic and depressing scene in which quite a lot of it was explained and then it all made sense.
I would suggest watching this film if you A) have an interest in The Beatles, B) you have an interest in any people in general (like me), C) You like any of the actors/actresses, D) you just want to watch the film.
Warnings: Alcohol, smoking, swearing, some sexual scenes, mention of masturbation, a few scenes of violence, some scenes may be disturbing or upsetting. For full details click the link to the IMDb Parental Guide: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1266029/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg
Trailer: To see a trailer and read more information on the film and cast click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1266029/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Other Information: The Beatles were formed in Liverpool in 1960 and broke up in 1970. The members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. John Lennon got shot and murdered in December 1980 and George Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. Paul McCartney is now 73 and Ringo Starr is 75. The Beatles released 12 albums, 13 EP’s and 22 singles in their time as a band. They’ve won 3 Brit awards and 10 Grammy awards.
Actors from the film have gone on to appear in things such as Game Of Thrones, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, The Maze Runner, Before I Go To Sleep, Kick-ass, Suffragette (2015), Wolfhall (Adaptation of the book by Hilary Mantel) and Godzilla (2014).