She played an active role in his childhood but John Lennon's Aunt Mimi has often been portrayed as a cartoonish dragon lady in the life of the deceased Beatle. This might have changed with Kristin Scott Thomas's portrayal of Aunt Mimi in "Nowhere Boy."
Aunt Mimi, while strict and complicated, shows some carefully-guarded heart, and that has critics talking about Thomas' subdued portrayal.
Capturing the nuance in Aunt Mimi was very much a concern for the movie's director Sam Taylor-Wood. She told PopcornBiz that Lennon's widow Yoko Ono was especially concerned that Aunt Mimi was portrayed in the proper light, something which has eluded the complicated character in the past. Mimi Smith, who died in 1991, was Lennon's maternal aunt and his primary caregiver for much of his life.
"Yoko was concerned that Aunt Mimi wasn't demonized," Taylor-Wood told us at the film's press day. "In other biographies she was painted as this formidable dragon-type woman. (Yoko) told me that I have to remember that John loved Aunt Mimi and Mimi loved John. And go from there."
"And that really helped in the forming of these characters."
The complexity comes through in this intense character study. But more than being show in the proper light, Aunt Mimi also receives an amazing performance by Kristin Scott Thomas.
"I knew she was perfect for this part," says Taylor-Wood. "I have admired her for a long time as an actress. I just thought that if if I am lucky enough to get to work with her, it would be amazing."
Truth be told, Scott Thomas in this performance is amazing.