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Published June 23rd 2015
Brian Wilson- the genius whose music defined a generation
As so often happens, the life and mind of a creative artist is far from normal or easy. Love & Mercy is a sensitive and poignant film about Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind the legendary surf rock band, The Beach Boys.
Paul Dano as Brian Wilson Making music
Director Bill Pohlad captures the complexities of Brian Wilson, who is sensitive, creative, troubled and tormented. The movie fluidly moves between the young Wilson in the 1960's, brilliantly played by Paul Dano and the older Wilson in the 1980's, magnificently played by John Cusack.
Love & Mercy portrays Wilson as he gifts the musical world with his popular music. We are mesmerised as we watch Dano portray Wilson painstakingly and creatively bringing his brilliant musical sounds to life.
Paul Dano as Brian Wilson
Amidst the rising fame and hit records Wilson is captivated by the songs in his head and resists pressure from the band to continue with their proven style and pushes the band to trust in his new musical direction and ideas. He begins to withdraw from the limelight to focus on his creative pursuits, but eventually the voices in his head and his struggles push him further into a reclusive life and depression. At his lowest, Wilson undergoes treatment with psychiatrist Dr. Eugene Landy, who is played by Paul Giamatti. Although Wilson becomes less reclusive under Landy's care, he becomes trapped as Landy turns manipulative, controlling and tyrannical.
She struggles to see Wilson tormented by his oppressive carer and recognises the damage Landy is doing. With Ledbetter's gentle encouragement and tireless support, Wilson breaks free of Landy's control and is given a second chance at life.
John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks Image by Francois Duhamel, Roadside Attractions