I have been waiting all summer to finally see Love & Mercy in theaters. As a fan of The Beach Boys, it would impossible not to miss this one. Their music truly defines the feeling of summer. When they start recording songs for Pet Sounds, considered as not only their best album but one of the best albums of all-time, leader Brian Wilson decided to do something different for the band. Instead of dance pop, he wanted to write pop songs that are suitable for listening. Furthermore, he stopped touring with his fellow band mates to focus on Pet Sounds.
The movie takes place in two different time periods. In the 1960s, Wilson (Paul Dano, in an Oscar-worthy performance) has been getting a lot of success being in The Beach Boys. After touring, he starts getting panic attacks while he is producing Pet Sounds. In the 1980s, he (John Cusack, equally terrific) is a washed-up middle-aged man under the watch of therapist Gene Landy (Paul Giamatti). He befriends Melinda (Elizabeth Banks), a Cadillac saleswoman. She begins to help Wilson every way she could.
The real Brian Wilson stated the events in the movie are factual. Director Bill Pohlad intended to make Love & Mercy as genuine as possible. This might be too good to be true. As a matter of fact, this is a devastatingly powerful film about the rise and fall of one of the greatest musicians ever. You can’t help feeling sorry for Brian Wilson being in this hellhole. Kudos to Pohlad’s confident direction and wonderful performances by an astounding cast, Love & Mercy is an experience I’ll never forget. Looking forward to getting the DVD.