Love & Mercy (a movie review)

This is one of the better biopics I’ve seen. I’ve always enjoyed the Beach Boys’ tunes, but I didn’t realize how Brian Wilson’s genius was an important influencing factor for much of the music industry’s ingenuity for late ‘60s and early ‘70s rock and roll. In fact, there’s a strong case to be made that Brian Wilson’s greatness is right up there alongside John and Sir Paul of the Beatles. Uh-oh. I will now step back to talking about the film, Love & Mercy. Well edited and well produced. You get a good feel for how Brian Wilson spirals down and tries to make sense of what’s going on in his head.

The movie shows Wilson’s life through three different periods using the setting and costumes as the distinguishing factors. Paul Dano plays Wilson during the ’60s and ‘70s, while John Cusack plays an older Wilson who is held psychologically and physically captive by a psychologist, played by Paul Giamatti. The psychologist supposedly has Wilson’s best interest at heart, but we soon learn otherwise. This is definitely a story never heard or told before, until now. I didn’t realize how sick and close to death Brian Wilson was in the 1980s. Without spoiling anything, another good actor on board here is Elizabeth Banks. Her character plays a very important role in Wilson’s life.

Definitely a must-see for all. Music is just great. Other good musical biopics I’ve seen that I can recall (I’m sure I’m missing some) and recommend are listed below. I will not, however, compare them with one another because they are all good; their own respective unique Music is the real star in every one of them. They’re not listed in any order.

Jersey Boys
The Sapphires
The Doors
Great Balls of Fire
La Bamba
Walk the Line
Coal Miner’s Daughter
The Buddy Holly Story
Cadillac Records
What’s Love Got to Do with It?
Lady Sings the Blues
Sweet Dreams
Beyond the Sea
The Glen Miller Story

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