I saw this film in the best possible way: I didn’t know what it was about before I attended an early screening. I found it to be a moving look at a teenage boy’s struggles with his splintered family in England during the 1960s. When I realized the protagonist was John Lennon, it made even more sense, as I remembered, in sketchy form, the story of his adolescence.
One could easily call this Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, for that’s what it offers us: a look at Lennon’s youthful ways, including his first forays into music, his cultural influences and ambitions, and most of all his relationship with his loving uncle and stern aunt, who raised him, and his absentee mother, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.
Aaron Johnson, who played the American hero in Kick-Ass, does a fine job here as—
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