Home' Nova National : December 2009 Contents equal than a son. John is enthralled and
appalled, but this newfound affection
is more than he can resist. Julia teaches
him the banjo, introduces him to music
and helps him pursue his belief that he
can form a band (even though his musical
ability, at this stage, is marginal at best).
Needless to say, this brings both them
into conflict with Mimi. But when John
thinks he can move in with Julia, her
husband Bobby (David Morrissey) makes
it clear that he is not welcome and John
returns to Mimi's home.
The tug of war between the two
women is played out with the restraint of
the times -- there is very little screaming
and shouting although there is deep-
seated resentment and conflict. John
was obviously torn between the two
sisters, one vivacious and unstable, the
other orderly and supportive and it is
both these sides which play out in his
Johnson as John Lennon is a very
weak centre for this film -- he is too pretty
and his face and body lack the dynamism
of such a restless soul. The film belongs
to Scott-Thomas and Duff as the warring
sisters and it is only when they are on the
screen that you feel fully engaged with
the story. If this was just the story of a
person who didn't become famous, you
would wonder why it had been made.
Nowhere Boy is a solid biopic about John
Lennon's teenage years, which meets
expectations. But if you are looking for
something as engrossing as Control, the
heartbreaking film about Ian Curtis the
lead singer of Joy Division, or something
as deliciously manic as DiG! that
fiendishly funny doco about The Dandy
Warhols and their band rivals The Brian
Jonestown Massacre, then Nowhere Boy
doesn't cut it.
Nowhere Boy is based on a memoir
by Lennon's half sister Julia Baird, and if
the film is anything to go by, it is a sparse
telling. The memoir was adapted for the
screen by Matt Greenhalgh (who also
wrote Control ) but the narrative is not as
John (Aaron Johnson) was brought up
by his Aunt Mimi (Kristen Scott-Thomas)
from the age of five and although he
knows that Mimi is his aunt, he is not
sure where his mother, Julia, is. When
his Uncle George dies, Julia comes to the
funeral, and one of John's nosey cousins
finds out where she lives, and drags John
off to visit her.
Julia is younger than Mimi, she is more
bohemian than Mimi, she is messier than
Mimi and she treats John more as an
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BABY LOVE Concerned about chemicals in baby products, Melbourne mum,
aromatherapist and philanthropist Catherine Cervasio founded Aromababy. Its range
of natural and organic products now sells around Australia and the world. NOVA
MAGAZINE & AROMABABY have eight travel packs of handy products for travelling
mothers to give away. Mark your entry BABY.
LET'S GET PHYSICAL Shocked by the price of exercise clothing, Melanie Becker
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LIFE have one set of bra top and pants to give away. Mark your entry EXERCISE
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A MARSUPIAL ACTION HERO Recently shown on ABC1 TV, Skippy: Australia's
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ANCIENT WISDOM AVAILABLE DAILY The 2010 Cosmos Diary for the
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well as information on using Ayurvedic principles of living, including health and nutrition
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your entry VEDIC
Ever wondered what your soul looks
like? Most of us think our souls are
expansive, all-embracing ephemeral
spheres. Not too many would think we
have a chickpea for a soul -- but that is
what Paul Giamatti discovers when his
soul is extracted from his body by the
Soul Storage Company.
This story is grounded in the here and
now and it is supposedly so grounded in
reality that the lead character is called Paul
Giamatti and played by the actor of that
name, the guy who acted in Sideways and
Cold Souls is a bit like Being John
Malkovich in tone and delivery, but it
lacks the humour and genuine silliness
of that film. Cold Souls has something
serious to say, suggesting that anything
can be turned into a commodity and
trafficked because it is just a matter of
supply and demand and people's
willingness to enter into the transaction.
Giamatti reads about Soul Storage in
the New Yorker Magazine and decides
that if he gets rid of his soul for a couple
of weeks while he is doing Chekhov's
Uncle Vanya, then his performance will
improve. So he goes to Soul Storage and
Dr Flintstein (David Strathairn) performs
the extraction for him -- and that's where
he discovers his chickpea-sized soul.
Giamatti stores his soul while he does
the play, but unknown to him, there is a
Russian mule, Sveta (Kathryn Winnick)
who trafficks in souls -- she has them
transferred into her and she brings them
to America. But her boss's wife, a Russian
soap opera star, wants the soul of an
American actor so she can be a better
actor. The only actor in Soul Storage is
Giamatti, so Sveta steals his soul and
it's transferred into the soap opera star.
Sveta thinks it's temporary, but the
Russian star has no intention of giving it
up. Meanwhile Giamatti realises that
being soulless is horrible, his wife (Emily
Watson) hates it because his skin is scaly
and he is being cruel to their friends.
He has to get his soul back, but that is
easier said than done, especially when he
discovers that a hedge fund has bought
out Soul Storage.
There are moments of brilliance in
Cold Souls, when the sheer absurdity of
such a scenario is brought home. But
there is a feeling of effort about the whole
enterprise, which is rarely found in a
Charlie Kaufman script, creating a sense
of disengagement and distance from the
whole absurd idea.
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