dinsdag 11 april 2017
100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 51: Love & Mercy
Genre: Drama/ Music
Runtime: 121 minutes
Starring: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, Bill Camp
Description: In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson (John Cusack/ Paul Dano) struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti).
Review: When you hear music from The Beach Boys you think of a few things: sun, sand, beach, happy guys and songs about surf girls. But this biopic about Brian Wilson, the leader of the band, is way deeper, touching and complex as the songs sound. The Beach Boys was one of the most successful bands in America. The film doesn’t follow the start of the band, but right in the middle of their success. As a young man in the sixties, Brian Wilson is a musical genius that rather stays in the studio to create new music than to go on tour with his brothers to Japan. They don’t understand Brian’s fascination and obsession with the weird sounds he adds to the songs, but leave him be. In the eighties Brian meets car salesman Melinda, who finds out that Brian has been heavily medicated by his psychiatrist. She decides to help Brian.
The film follows two storylines: the young Brian Wilson in the sixties and an older struggling Wilson in the eighties. This works like a charm. The first story is seen through the eyes of Brian and the other story we see through Brian’s second wife Melinda Ledbetter. Director Bill Pohlad takes us on a journey through the painful, tough life of Brian Wilson. We learn that his father beat him and that it even made him practically deaf in one ear. And that he is left with mental problems.
Paul Dano is really good as the young Brian Wilson. And I really loved Elizabeth Banks as Melinda. Paul Giamatti really shines in his more villainous role as Gene Landry. But the star of the show is John Cusack. I’ve always been a fan of him and he is one of my favorite actors. I simply can’t understand how Cusack has never won an Academy Awards, because his performance in “Love & Mercy” is definitely Oscar worthy.
Although the film focusses on Brian’s life, the musical part of the film is also clearly present. We see how some songs were born and how there were doubts at first, but they eventually turned out to be successful hits.
I really loved this movie, because I really like the music. But I didn’t know this about Brian Wilson, what a tough life he had. Pohland created a touching and intriguing story about musical talent Brian Wilson. And it hits your nerves.
Rating: 4,5/ 5