Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Love & Mercy Review - 4 Stars
“Love & Mercy” visualizes genius and madness in one of the most compelling movies of the year. Based on the life of Brian Wilson, it cuts back and forth between Wilson’s most creative days writing and conceptualizing the California group’s transition from pop to underground and Wilson’s latest period after a mental breakdown, which leaves him dangerously dependent on therapist Eugene Landy. The excellent Paul Dano plays Wilson in his young days. Wilson (after his break down) falls to John Cusack. The mix and contrast adds a deeper element to this biography, that goes well beyond “... and then I wrote.” The story turns on Wilson’s romance with Melinda Ledbetter, whom he meets selling Cadillacs. They connect, sitting in a showroom automobile with the doors locked. "Love & Mercy" soars in scenes with Dano composing and conducting a studio filled with professionals in awe of his talent. Cusack plays a hollow man, desperate for help. Elizabeth Banks plays the woman who helps save him, and adds just the right touch. "Love & Mercy" is an extraordinary movie - as extraordinary as Brian Wilson’s life. The real Wilson performs as the credits roll; and after this story, no one in the audience was anxious to get up and leave. Does it deliver what it promises? One of the year’s best. Is it entertaining? Completely compelling. Is it worth the price of admission. Put this on your must-see list.