Love & Mercy | Indy Week

Love & Mercy

Rated PG-13 120 min. 2015



Bill Pohlad's biopic of Brian Wilson drops two talented actors into the enigmatic Beach Boys leader's troubled waters. Paul Dano plays Wilson in his '60s heyday, during the creation of the revolutionary Pet Sounds. John Cusack is the broken Wilson of the '80s, now in the grips of a nefarious psychologist who subdues him with medication, as Wilson starts a halting courtship with Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks). The movie collects evidence of Wilson's downfall: the abusive manager-father, the drowning of Dennis Wilson, the corrosive care of psychologist Eugene Landy and the effects of psychedelics on a fragile psyche. But these are Wikipedia-level plot points, and a certain phoniness keeps creeping in. The dialogue has bouts of unnatural exposition and the symbolism gets garish. But whenever the music swells, we forget the movie's flaws and bask in the kaleidoscopic magnitude of Wilson's talent.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.loveandmercyfilm.com

Director: Bill Pohlad

Writer: Michael A. Lerner and Oren Moverman

Producer: Bill Pohlad, John Wells and Claire Rudnick Polstein

Cast: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, Jake Abel, Erin Darke and Kenny Wormald

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Love & Mercy

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