Sam Taylor Wood’s latest music themed film is an account of the relationship between a young John Lennon (Aaron Johnson) and the two influential women of his early life Julia (Ann-Marie Duff) and Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas). I had no particular expectations for the film and I had to get up at the crack of dawn (for me) to see it – especially as I was feeling guilty about not having yet seen a single film at the London Film Festival (too busy working on my own film). And today is the last day! Anyway it was worth it.
I was momentarily thrown by Aaron Johnson as he was clearly a lot older than the character he was playing at the start of the story (a couple of years is an eternity for a growing teenager) so I couldn’t orientate myself to when the story was set. However, once the film began to move through the story I got over it – he gives a cracking performance that has an essence of the public persona of John Lennon. Aaron Johnson is going to be huge when Kick-Ass opens next year. I don’t know how accurate the film is with regard to John Lennon’s life but without these two women it implies that John Lennon songwriter, musician and Beatle may never have existed. I also have to say that I was genuinely moved by the story and characters. Call me soppy but it was weirdly emotional.
Almost forgot. The score by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory was really interesting too – it was kind of traditional but with hidden ‘Beatlesque’ elements – I liked it.