Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5
If you’re a fan of The Beach Boys, this is the movie for you! It’s also good for those just looking for a good drama. Love & Mercy tells the story of Brian Wilson, the musical genius at two critical junctures of his life.
Paul Dano plays Wilson at his creative peak and the beginning of his emotional issues in the early to mid-60s. John Cusack plays him in the mid-80s at a low point in his life under the control of a manipulative doctor (played by Paul Giamatti) and separated from his family.
The two eras are cleverly interwoven and the film does a good job of showing his creative process and the debilitating effects of his mental illness.
Both Dano and Cusack are excellent, as are Giamatti and also Elizabeth Banks as the woman who tries to rescue him in the 80s.
Of course, the film has great music and packs an emotional wallop. Today Brian Wilson is on tour (and he and his band put on a great show in Austin this week).