"Love & Mercy" Brian Wilson's Life Story
The good, the bad, and inbetween
Enjoyment factor
Loved this
  • Great Story
  • Great Acting
  • Enjoyed
4.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

Being a California girl, I have always loved the Beach Boys. Nothing says summer like “Good Vibrations.” As we were all dancing in the sand enjoying the sun, fun and music, Brian Wilson was going through hell due to a mental illness.

The film features a then and now type of format with Paul Dano playing the young Brian and the wonderful John Cusack playing Brian as an older man.


Brian is shown during his writing music and recording session process. It quickly becomes clear that Brian as a young man is disturbed by a mental illness. As an older man he is micro-managed by his psychologist, Eugene Landy (played so well by Paul Giamatti that I wanted to slap the guy).

He meets the lovely and intelligent Melinda Ledbetter played by  Elizabeth Banks. Even through his psychotropic drug haze he knows a great gal when he sees one.

The film also shows a dysfunctional relationship between Brian and his abusive father.

Terra’s opinion:

Well written and executed by a cast of talented actors and crew including director Bill Pohlad, “Love & Mercy” is who has won many awards for such films as “Twelve Years a Slave” and “The Master.” The ‘then and now’ format of the film can be a turn off, however, Pohlad knows when to switch from one time to another and this makes the film go smoothly.

Both actors that play Brian made me want to laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. Paul plays the crazy genius while Cusack plays the older Wilson who is in the grips of a mad psychologist. It rarely, if ever, shows Brian in a mentally healthy state and if this is the truth, it’s a tragedy.

There is only one mention of brother Dennis’ drowning and no mention of the Charles Mansion/family incident that also befell Dennis. It is to the credit of the filmmakers that these sensational happenings aren’t in the film. This is Brian’s story and the movie stays true to its subject.

With excellent acting and behind the scenes artistry, “Love & Mercy” also contains the music that was the background for several generations.

The biopic about Brian Wilson’s life story is now available to view online at your favorite streaming site. Please use a PAID site. Please don’t illegally download any film as it severely hurts the future of films. It seems like nothing, like the studios can afford the 10.00 or so that they loose to you, but if 1,000 people do that, it starts adding up. If you think this doesn’t effect you, you’re wrong. The studios must pass the cost onto movie goers, it’s show business, and while it’s entertainment to us, it’s a living for them.

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About The Author

Always interested in a good indie film, my taste run towards Horror and documentaries. Rom-coms are my least favorite genre, but I will always take a look for the better good of the site. I've reviewed films for seven years and want to do it for about 20 more...we will see.

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