Watch the first 15 minutes of Lennon Naked, a John Lennon biopic that aired on British TV six weeks ago, and you’ll understand right away that it kicks Nowhere Boy‘s ass, and that Christopher Eccleston‘s lead performance is, like, way better than Aaron Johnson‘s.

You can complain that Eccleston, 46, is way too old to be playing Lennon in his 20s, but his performance more than compensates.

“It’s a brilliant performance in a brilliant film,” exclaimed The Guardian‘s Sam Wollaston, “because what Eccleston does get spot-on is the spirit of Lennon, with all his complications, contradictions and demons.

“It’s certainly no whitewash. He’s cruel to everyone – Brian Epstein, Cynthia, little Julian, the rest of the band, everyone except Yoko. He’s bitter and troubled, yet also idealistic. Very funny too, full of acerbic putdowns. The press conferences, where he returns caustic one-liners with top spin at the assembled press, are fabulous.”

Another Guardian piece notes that Lennon Naked “was shot on a shoestring budget in 18 days.”

Warning: Late last night HE reader Richard Huffman urged me to “remove the video embed immediately. Clicking on it and watching that movie through Megavideo managed to install some bullshit malware called ‘antimalware doctor’ on my machine. Not your fault, but I’m dreading the next four hours of disinfecting. Right now I have like 15 pop ups all over my desktop…ugh. Megavideo is notorious for putting up videos of questionable legality and then delivering viruses and malware when you click on the various play and pause buttons.”