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It’s hard not to look at every moment of a man’s life and try to pinpoint the pivotal events.  It’s hard not to sentimentalize and romanticize every word, every turn of event, every single nuance.

“Nowhere Boy” does not romanticize;  it even plays down certain monumental events, such as the first time John Lennon meets Paul McCartney.  What does come through sharply is his tumultuous home life as a teen.  John is a bit of a scamp, stealing records and free rides on double-decker buses, but he’s no worse than any other teenaged boy.  The emphasis is on the two women in his life, one your standard, uptight Brit who’d rather die than show emotion, and the other a much less restrained flirt who loves rock ‘n rollers.

John reunites with his mother Julia, whom he hasn’t seen since he was 5, and who, unbeknownst to him, has been living down the block for the past decade.  Julia is an outright flirt:  in some scenes her behavior is so seductive (even towards John) that I felt not just a little uneasy.  John seems uneasy too, yet also glad to have the attentions of a mother he really doesn’t know.  But he’s not dim and quickly catches on when Julia flirts with his (young) band members, in particular the young Paul.

Aside from the wrenching emotional component, there are bits and pieces of John’s early musical life.  His mum teaches him guitar and he puts together a band. John is exposed to rock and roll, Elvis, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.  My favorite line is John complaining that God didn’t make him Elvis; his mother says ‘He was saving you for John Lennon.’  His mother never knew the success he became due to a fatal car accident (which reminded me, oddly enough, of Lolita), but she certainly encouraged him in music and supported him, even when Aunt Mimi didn’t.  Maybe it was the balance between the two women that he needed.

The beginning scenes of the film are edited sharply; very short scenes that cut quickly and move on to the next.  Scenes lengthen as the movie progresses, and the emotions are pretty raw.  This is a short, 90-minute slice of his life that temporarily delves into serious issues.  There are some hints as to what was coming musically, but this film really focuses on his relationships with mother and aunt, and their relationships with each other.

Only one complaint with this film:  there is one scene that feels trite and almost as if it would lead to the shiny-happy-hollywood film ending (but thank fuck did not):  John reminds Aunt Mimi that she and Julia are sisters and she needed to remember that.  Aunt Mimi and Julia do seem to make amends and start spending time together.  John sees them together in one such scene and smiles to himself.  As if all life’s problems are that easily resolved, eh?   But then, this is all immediately prior to Julia’s getting gunned down by a speeding car.  So.

All in all, a good little film.  And Kristin Scott Thomas as Aunt Mimi was delightful.


Just a short post to talk about my goings-on this weekend.  It’s been a good weekend, filled with new and exciting stuff.

I’ll just go ahead and begin with Friday.  Friday we had a pot-luck lunch at work, which turned into a 3-hour lunch, filled with food, margaritas, and a hula-hooping contest.   Jealous?  You should be.

Saturday, woke up feeling rested for the first time in weeks, and also in a happier mood than I’ve felt in months.  Six months, to be exact.  Around 6pm, my friend Kathy came over and we drove to the Nashville Fairgrounds and attended our first-ever Roller Derby.  Let me just say, I had NO idea that we had 3 Roller Derby teams in Nashville, much less that they were so damn popular!  The small sports arena was packed!  And let me also say, if you’ve never been to a Roller Derby, you should totally GO.  It was the most fun I’ve had on a Saturday night in quite some time.  The crowd was diverse, the Derby was fast-paced and exciting, the cheerleaders were enthusiastic.  The two couples sitting in front of us were dressed for the circus:  the girls in curly, teased-out hair, corsets, fishnets, and rosy-glittered cheeks; the guys were in pants with suspenders, derbys, and painted faces.  One guy on the first row (we were on the third row) had a hat containing an authentic wishbone and feather stuck in the band.  I heard rumors that the after-party had a circus theme, but honestly, the costumes just didn’t stick out that much.  The crowd was such a mix that no one stood out.

I knew nothing about any of this, but after watching the first half, I got the hang of it.  Towards the end of the game, the jams got more heated, and more and more girls were shoved out of bounds and to the floor.  If you think girls can’t kick ass, I know 3 teams of Roller girls who can- and will- prove you wrong!

Sunday:  got my food shopping done, and dealt with some car issues (which I won’t go into as it’s boring and personally annoying).  Through a link from a friend of mine who shares my love of weird and funky items, I found this pair of lace pants that I immediately lusted over.  We are talking hard-core lusting.  After staring at them for awhile and cringing at the price (a mere $130), I called mom.  Mom, I said, how do you feel about stitching together some nice stretch lace pants for me?  She was totally on board.  Hopefully, in the near future, I will have myself a nice pair of black lacy pants.

Now, having divulged my swooning over a pair of lace pants, let me just say this:  when I was in my early twenties, I was very into the ‘hippie’ look:  the round glasses, the long hair, the 60’s bohemian clothing.  I loved (and still love) John Lennon.  I had peace signs everywhere and stuck them on everything, even my car.  But the thing is, I didn’t realize that my whole hippie mentality and style had followed me through the years.  Yeah, I still have some stuff with peace signs, and I do have my tie-died Dead t-shirt from a show in Atlanta in 1989.  I DO, in fact, have a poster of John Lennon on my wall, the one of him in front of the Statue of Liberty, wearing a hat and giving the peace sign.  Yeah, I do still wear Birkenstocks.

As introspective and self-aware as I am, how did I not realize what a hippie gal I am?  Some days, I am just amazed.

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