Movie Review: Lennon Naked

Lennon Naked Several weeks ago I received and email from WGBH/PBS in Boston asking if I would take the time to mention their upcoming release of  Lennon Naked on my website.  They also asked if I would like a preview copy of the movie prior to writing about it.  It only made sense since this is a review website.

It would seem that 90% of this film is about John Lennon’s anger management abilities.  It’s as if the people behind the making of the movie researched every moment and every issue Lennon had and put it on film without regard for the happy or joyful times in his life.  According to Lennon Naked all John Lennon did was walk around angry and I believe they should rename this film to “Lennon Pissed-Off”.

My personal message to Robert Jones (writer): Dude….Give Peace a Chance! ☮

The one good point I found is the acting in the film is wonderful.  And though I’m not a Yoko Ono fan, I did find Naoko Mori‘s portrayal ofYoko to be excellent!

I don’t know that I can criticize the details that they present in this movie.  I didn’t walk away with the impression that they took too many liberties with the truth, though they do have a disclaimer before the movie started saying that some parts have been fictionalized.

Lennon Naked will debut on PBS on Sunday, November 21, 2010.  You can go to PBS.org and check your zip code for dates and times that Lennon Naked will be playing on your local station.

As always, I look forward to my readers responses and opinions.

I rate this movie: 1 out of 4 Beetles

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16 Comments

Filed under John Lennon, movies, reviews

16 responses to “Movie Review: Lennon Naked

  1. If the movie is looking to portray John’s “wild & angry side” i certainly hope they spoke to May Pang about what she saw…her book is filled with stories that would fit in.

  2. Esme

    I haven’t seen this yet, but back when Lennon was still alive and giving numerous and lengthy interviews, even he admitted to many bad feelings that he tried to resolve in his life. A lot of it was anger about his childhood. So focusing on anger doesn’t seem so far off base to me.

    Most biopics take an aspect of a person’s life and develop that. I guess the writers of this film focused on John’s angst.

  3. Joanie

    I just watched Lennon Naked on PBS. As a fan of Lennon, I have followed and read almost everything available about John Lennon and his life. If what I have read about Lennon and the Lennon Naked movie closely protrays his early years and what he went through as a child, as a Beatle and the turmoil that this brought him then it is no wonder that he was angry. “John, the whole world loves you for what you have given us and may you rest in peace always..”..

  4. Philip Cohen

    Though the writers admit to some fictionalisation(I doubt that John played Fred Lennon a tape of “Mother”), it should be noted that all of the Beatles and Lennon press conferences portrayed were word for word quotations of the actual events.

  5. JMD

    Agree with Beatle-Freak … this is terribly one-dimensional. The success of the Beatles had almost as much to do with their charm as the music. Yes, John had a lot of anger, and was often very biting in his comments, but this totally misses the whimsical side of his personality.

  6. Johnsickofit

    This movies runs until 1971.

    Way before “May Pang” time.

  7. Clarice

    Even more than advertising the field of psychotherapy, the film direction appeared to intend to emphasize, with persistent, all-angle close-ups, the lead actor’s obviously Jewish nose and rippled brow ridge, while failing even to train the poor man in Lennon’s specific dialect. Lennon never spoke heavy Scouse unless he wished to mock! John Lennon was about 30 years old in the period the film covers, and had neither the older, sunken face nor the minimal eyebrows shown at length, intimately. That Production spent lavishly for authentic sites, homes, vehicles, dialog research and so on, while demanding the public swallow a John Lennon who looked and sounded nothing like the cultural icon himself is a travesty. Where is the film’s respect for the viewing public? Particularly regarding a Lennon biography, casting ought to have been number one priority. Sorry to say, in my view, the casting team in this instance should be sued for breach of contract.

  8. Uncle Ed

    This production was laughably poor. The fact is Mr. Lennon was a junkie as was Mrs. Ono/Lennon for large periods of their relationship. He had become volatile and unpredictable and it was his own failings that led to the disastrous post-Epstein management agreement with Klein. Like John F. Kennedy and Elvis, dying young was a good career move. The other fact is Mr. Lennon’s post-Beatles career was a disaster, unlike Mr. McCartney’s. Lennon knew that too and it drove him nuts. I am sorry he is dead, but his death doesn’t change the fact that he was a troubled soul.

  9. Blu

    This was by far the best one of these things I’ve seen on Lennon. This is the side of Lennon that most people would likely have rubbed up against wrong upon meeting him or spending some time with him. It’s a very personal side of Lennon that you get from the people who were closest around him during this time. I would trust this movie because of all the close confidants portrayed in the movie who have spoken about this time they shared with Lennon.

    • Walls&Bridges

      Once you get over the fact that yes, the Lennon in the movie looked more like a post 1980 John Lennon, but that to me made this movie even cooler. I had always heard of Lennon being a crazy, loudmouth hard-edged rocker on drugs, but I had never seen a portrayal of him fictionalized in a movie that brought across this side of his personality so well.

  10. Paul

    Saw it last night. Wish I can get my time of 90 minutes back to me! To me when ever they try to get actors to play The Beatles for MADE FOR TV MOVIES,it’s disatourous!Yeh this guy who played Lennon was awful. His physical appearence was not right(the real Lennon was thinner) . When it was the 1969-1970 era,where was the beard and the short hair when he was going to his primal scream era?
    There was the scene where John & Yoko took there nude pictures together for there TWO VIRGINS LP.Well why wasn’t that scene done while they were recording there avant-garde music?This movie should have never been made.

    • Clarice

      Righto. Hard to grasp how Casting could choose as lead actors persons appearing vastly different from such public figures as John and Yoko! And how Make-up could not so much as add on eyebrows like John’s, or make his nose more precise! Clearly the Directors and Producers did not care in the least about such physical details, which, from the public’s perspective, are most essential. I grant there was some excellent acting in the film, the best by more minor characters; but the producers need to learn that the icon-biography in film requires at base coordinating at least lead-role appearances with the images the public holds in its mind’s eye…and applying restraint rather than one’s friends’ personal desires, for casting and content.

  11. nick

    It’s the worst movie on Lennon I have ever seen, which is strange because it was released around the same time as the best one I’ve seen, Nowhere Boy. Avoid it if you can.

  12. Tina

    John had his dark side as we all do. I think they should have balanced the story out better though. John had his kind, loving, caring and vulnerable side too. I’m also really disgusted that it made John look like he never loved Cynthia! He did love Cynthia. There were tender moments between them and they always make it look like he only married her because of her pregnancy which is not true at all. He and Yoko had their problems too so I think they should have shown us the whole man instead of some pissed off at the world grump. No matter what, John will always be loved by millions and we will always miss him. One of the saddest days in history is when we lost this man. I hope Chapman burns in Hell forever!

  13. Flable Cat

    I don’t know why, but Lennon Naked didn’t capture John’s personality very effectively. I was quite dissappointed to find that the actors looked nothing like The Beatles and their charm was completely lost. I was expecting more, BBC.

    However, the fact that it had real footage of The Beatles and that the storyline did toutch on some very important aspects in John’s life, such as his feelings towards Fred Lennon, did make it somewhat worhtwhile.

  14. andresf1984

    I think “Nowhere Boy” and, to a lesser degree “Two of Us” cover in a better way John’s childhood issues.

    Christopher Ecclestone’s portrayal of John wasn’t up to the standard, not only because the lack of physical resemblance (which wasn’t a problem for Jared Harris in “Two of Us”), but because he couldn’t capture John’s mannerisms and personality. It’s such a shame because on the upside there was real footage/music to support some essential scenes.

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