Love & Mercy

2014

Action / Biography / Drama / Music

51
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 29649

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Elizabeth Banks as Melinda Ledbetter
John Cusack as Brian Wilson - 1980s
Paul Dano as Brian Wilson - Past
Paul Giamatti as Dr. Eugene Landy
720p.BLU
870.49 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 6 / 35

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by theonejackdry 3 / 10

Did he get the blue Cadillac?

I've been very puzzled by this movie. In the end, the central question of whether he got the blue Cadillac he comes to buy at the beginning, and which plays an essential role in the plot, is never elucidated. He never drives it, it's never delivered - actually he doesn't drive anything at all, he has a limo driving him around. So why did he come to buy a car in the first place. Somehow I feel I've seen this movie before, and it was called Rain Man.

Reviewed by moonspinner55 6 / 10

"I think it's an acquired taste." .. "Marriage?" .. "Matzah ball soup."

Brian Wilson, the leader/producer/arranger of the popular 1960s group the Beach Boys, stays behind in the US when his brothers and cousin Mike Love tour Japan in order to write songs and lay down instrumental tracks for their next album, "Pet Sounds". His busy, creative life, tinged with bitterness over his tumultuous relationship with his father (whom the band had fired as their manager), is juxtaposed with Wilson's life in the '80s as a shattered man inching his way towards a healthier, more normal existence. Vivid, though exposition-heavy shuffling of episodes in Wilson's life and career, with a fussy, somewhat overblown production design in the '60s scenes (where Wilson is played by the impeccably-cast Paul Dano) counterbalanced by a deceptively bland calm in the '80s (with John Cusack portraying the older Brian as a possible paranoid schizophrenic under the thumb of possessive therapist Dr. Eugene Landry). The screenplay by Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner, "based on the life of Brian Wilson," is well-researched if overwritten; every introduction to somebody new on-screen is followed by needless dialogue covering who they are and what they do. Dano could not be better as the younger Wilson, emulating the musician's budding genius and unassuming ego with an introspective, nice-guy personality (until he's pushed, when he becomes defensive though never arrogant). By contrast, Cusack doesn't fare as well. Whether or not Cusack and director Bill Pohlad were aiming for an impersonation here doesn't matter, as the actor's brand of nervous self-doubts and sad regrets have been well-documented on film, making it difficult to accept him in this role; under different circumstances--say, in a roman à clef--Cusack's performance would be solid, but his casting here (perhaps for box office cache) doesn't quite work. The film is a near-miss, but entertaining on the whole, with terrific recreations of Wilson and LA's the Wrecking Crew making musical magic in the recording studio. **1/2 from ****

Reviewed by ollie1939-97-957994 9 / 10

An engaging, focused narrative and great performances definitely make Love and Mercy worth a watch.

To all Hollywood directors out there trying to make a biopic of a person's life, this is certainly the way to do it. Bill Pohlad's emotionally engaging biopic of Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson is extremely effective with great cinematography, wonderful acting by the leads and is heart wrenching well written. Unlike most biopics that tried to cover the entirety of a person's life, Love and Mercy instead keeps its focus on two areas of Brian Wilson's life. First, when the younger Wilson (Paul Dano) is making the iconic Pet Sounds album in the 1960s and dealing with the aftermath of the album's release. Secondly, it deals with an older Wilson's (John Cusack) deteriorating mental state in the 1980s as he attempts to find love with a local car dealer (Elizabeth Banks), whilst also being emotionally abused by his psychiatrist Dr Landy (Paul Giamatti). By doing this, Pohlad creates a more focused narrative that doesn't confuse the audience by trying to cram in too many of Wilson's life into one two-hour movie. The movie also succeeds in the way in which it transitions seamlessly between the two different time periods. Unlike most biopics, it doesn't present the events chronologically. Instead, it goes back and forth between Dano and Cusack's Wilson. However, it never feels like two different movies, as both sections of the film complement each other and add more depth to the scenes that come prior and after. The acting is all around top notch for the film as well. Dano probably gives the best performance of his career, acting like the mad genius that Wilson was. He perfectly depicts the ever worsening mental state of Wilson and it's shameful that he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar. Cusack also gives one of his best performance in years. Whilst he doesn't quite have as much to do as Dano does, he still delivers a quiet and reserved performance that reminds audiences of why people so adored him in the 90s. Elizabeth Banks is also great in her role as the emphatic love interest of Wilson. Arguably, some might dislike the fact that Bank's character does probably have a larger role in these sections than Cusack but she never feels forced in. Wilson is seen primarily through Dano's eyes and Banks is the voice of reason that is trying to bring him back to reality. If I had to criticise any performance in the film, I would be inclined to say Paul Giamatti. Whilst his performance is by no means awful, I did think he occasionally went slightly too over the top in some parts of the film. When compared to the subtle performances by all the other main actors, I felt his performance became occasionally too cartoonish (although Wilson himself said that his performance reminded him of the real Dr Landy, so maybe I'm in the wrong on this one). Love and Mercy is a film that everyone should watch, regardless of whether they're a Beach Boys fan or not. It delivers an interesting perspective into one of the 20th century's greatest musicians but feels more focused and more engaging than some of the music biopics that have preceded it (e.g. Ray, Walk the Line etc). It's a film that deserves a gander and I can't recommend it enough.

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