Nowhere Boy to close London Film Festival

John Lennon biopic marks feature debut by artist Sam Taylor-Wood.

by Amber Wilkinson

The world premiere of Nowhere Boy will close the London Film Festival.

The biopic of John Lennon's childhood is the debut feature by British artist Sam Taylor-Wood.

The film steps back to look at John Lennon's childhood. It's Liverpool 1955: a smart and troubled 15-year-old is hungry for experience.

In a family full of secrets, two incredible women clash over John. Mimi, the buttoned-up aunt who raised him and Julia, the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into rock 'n' roll.

His fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney. Just as John begins his new life, tragedy strikes. But a resilient young man finds his voice - and an icon explodes into the world.

Festival Artistic Director Sandra Hebron said: "We're delighted to be closing our festival with the world premiere of this first feature by Sam Taylor-Wood, who brings her customary sensitivity and visual flair to this story of the formative years of one of the UK's cultural icons. Less a biopic and more a love-story, Nowhere Boy is as accomplished as it is moving, and will ensure the festival ends on a high note."

Nowhere Boy is written by Control scribe Matt Greenhalgh and based on the memoir by Julia Baird. Newcomer Aaron Johnson stars as John Lennon, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas as Lennon’s Aunt Mimi and Anne-Marie Duff as his mother Julia.

They are joined by Thomas Brodie Sangster playing the young Paul McCartney and newcomer Sam Bell as George Harrison alongside a strong supporting cast that includes David Morrissey and David Threlfall.

The film was produced by Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae for Ecosse Films and Kevin Loader, with cinematography from Seamus McGarvey.

Sam Taylor-Wood said: "For the past year I have lived and breathed this film. It's been one of the most transforming experiences of my life. For Nowhere Boy to chosen to close the London Film Festival, in a city I grew up in and which continues to inspire me is truly amazing."

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