Think back on as many films about John Lennon as you possibly can. Ignore the films that actually featured the man from A Hard Day's Night to The U.S. vs. John Lennon and just consider the ones that attempted to provide insight into what formed the man's regarded genius. Not a very long list is it? In the few like Backbeat and the telefilm, Two Of Us, where Lennon had a significant role instead of a background cameo made for kitsch or a laugh, the variant focuses on Lennon's life have done little justice into justifying why he is considered one of the greatest songwriters who has ever lived. Sam Taylor-Wood's focus on Lennon's teenage years in Nowhere Boy is a barren soap opera of a film that puts more emphasis on his mood swings than what made his music so great.
For the film's first half-hour we meet the lad named John (Aaron Johnson) and his cheerful relationship with his Uncle George. While his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott-Thomas) quietly reads and smokes, the cool Uncle shares alcohol and puts a radio speaker in his room. Until he drops dead. At the funeral, John notices a striking redhead keeping her distance from the family. Turns out this woman is John's birth mother, Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), who has been out of his life since the age of five for unknown reasons. When his mate tracks her down, seemingly a stroll through the park and around the corner from Mimi's, Julia and John become reacquainted with mom compelled to show how affectionate she is towards her boy.