Nowhere Boy is a British feature film about John Lennon's adolescence and the gradual evolution of his first band into The Beatles.
The drama tells the story of Lennon's teenage years and the start of his journey to becoming a successful musician. The story also examines the impact on his early life and personality of the two dominant females in his childhood - his Aunt Mimi and his mother Julia. In addition, the film shows the first meeting of Lennon with future Beatle Paul McCartney and the development of their friendship and musical partnership. British actor Aaron Johnson portrays Lennon and Thomas Sangster plays Paul McCartney. Lennon's aunt Mimi is portrayed by Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff plays Lennon's mother Julia.
The film was directed by conceptual artist/photographer Sam Taylor-Wood - her debut feature film. The screenplay was written by the writer of the Joy Division film Control Matt Greenhalgh. The film was shot on location in Liverpool and at Ealing Studios in West London.
The soundtrack features several of the songs played by The Quarrymen at the time depicted in the film. New recordings were made featuring performances by Johnson and Sangster, (Thomas Sangster was able to play the guitar before landing his role, but as he is right-handed, he learned how to play the guitar like the left-handed McCartney.) Producers negotiated with Yoko Ono for the rights to use Lennon's song Mother in the film. In addition to the featured songs, British electronica duo Goldfrapp provide the film's instrumental score.
The film went on general release in the UK on 26 December 2009.
The film was released in the US on 8 October 2010 to coincide with celebrations that weekend of the 70th anniversary of Lennon's birth (9 October 1940).
HanWay Films represented worldwide sales. Distributor Icon Entertainment International took the rights for the United Kingdom and Australia. Mars Distribution acquired the rights for France. The Weinstein Company will distribute the film in the United States, Germany and Latin America.
The film had its world premiere on 29 October 2009 at the closing night of the London Film Festival. The film was screened at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on 27 January.
Nowhere Boy was nominated for four British Academy Film Awards: Outstanding British Film, Best Supporting Actress (Anne-Marie Duff and Kristin Scott Thomas), and Outstanding Debut by a British director (Sam Taylor-Wood).
The film received a Lottery funding of ₤1.2 million from the UK Film Council Premier Fund with an additional ₤35,500 from its Development Fund to develop the script. The film also received a grant from Film4 (the film division of Channel 4).
When the film was first announced, initial media accounts stated that it would be based on the book Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon by Lennon's half sister Julia Baird; however, the credits for the completed film have no reference to either the book or to Baird. Sole writing credit is accorded to screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh.
* Aaron Johnson - John Lennon
* Thomas Sangster - Paul McCartney
* Kristin Scott Thomas - Mimi Smith
* Anne-Marie Duff - Julia Lennon
* David Morrissey - Bobby Dykins
* Ophelia Lovibond - Maria Kennendy
* Josh Bolt - Pete Shotton
* Sam Bell - George Harrison
* Andrew Buchan - Michael Fishwick (Mimi's lodger)
* Calum O'Toole - Teddy Boy
* Jack McElhone - Eric Griffiths
* Christian Bird - Jimmy Tarbuck
* Ellie Jeffreys - Teddy Girl
* Les Loveday - Teddy
* David Threlfall - George Toogood Smith
* James Jack Bentham - Rod Davis