Love & Mercy

Posted on June 7, 2015


Love & Mercy – The story of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. It flips from mid 1960’s to late 1980’s.
It shows early Brian’s (Paul Dano) genius along with his slide into mental illness. He starts hearing voices after the band’s tremendous success with surfing songs. How much of this is from drug use or his father’s (Bill Camp) abuse, you don’t really know. It seems he controls his brothers/band members with his schizophrenia while he creates brilliant musical arrangements.
Later Brian (John Cusack) meets former model, now Cadillac saleswoman, Melinda (Elizabeth Banks) when shopping for a new car. She seems smitten from the get-go even though it’s readily apparent that he has major mental issues. Cusack and Dano are both excellent here and Paul Giamatti as the monstrous, nasty, nasty Dr. Gene Liddy is exceptional. You want to throttle him.
It feels like a really up close, personal look at Wilson’s life as well as in-depth look at mental illness. You can’t help but wonder why it is that so many creative types are just a little bit this side of crazy. I guess God only knows.