LOVE & MERCY – Rated PG-13
From the producer of INTO THE WILD, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and 12 YEARS A SLAVE – Bill Pohlad – comes a biographical masterpiece, as he Directs this time around the real-life story of music virtuoso and Lead Singer of the BEACH BOYS – BRIAN WILSON with LOVE & MERCY!
Rising up with a Surfin’ sound from Hawthorne California in 1961 – Brian Wilson, his brothers Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine have hit the music world by storm, making the most of their clean cut ways, and Brian’s beach loving trembles.
As Brian (Paul Dano) sets out to write a different kind of music and lyrics than what he has created before, his family and fellow band members think he’s lost his mind. Comfortable in the wave of hits that they have been riding upon for years – thanks to Brian’s music and it’s hip sound – the BEACH BOYS are content, and they want Brian to keep writing those types of songs. Ignoring his band mates ~ and his father ~ Brian strives to achieve his ultimate “Masterpiece” in music, working day and night on creating an “unforgettable sound” that doesn’t resemble any of his previous work, or anyone else’s for that matter.
Flash-forward ~ as the years of anguish over of his music and the drugs – both recreational and prescribed by his advisor and confidant, Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti) have taken their toll on Brian (now played by John Cusack). When a chance meeting brings the beautiful and caring Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks) into his life, Brian thinks his life may be at a turning point, and maybe, just maybe Melissa’s love can help him get his life back on track…
I give LOVE AND MERCY 5 out of 5 Stars: Paul Dano’s performance as Wilson in his early years is definitely OSCAR NOD worthy, and Paul Giamatti, playing the Dr. who definitely has Brian in his ultimate control, and who isn’t about to let go, is alarmingly good too. Living the life of this musical genius and the decades of pain and anguish he went through does get a little unsettling at times, but understanding Wilson’s musical genius, his psychosis of creation, and the many demons he has fought his whole life – both internal and external – is at times heartbreaking, yet very entertaining to view. This Biographical film is one of those that will reach out and grab you, and never let go. So far this year, LOVE AND MERCY is one of the first films that I have seen that will be climbing to the top of the heap come Oscar time! Take my word on it, this film is a DEFINITE MUST SEE this weekend at a theater near you!!!