First Post, A film review of Love & Mercy (2014)…
Love & Mercy is the biopic of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys who developed mental health difficulties.
“Love and Mercy” Trailer, c/o Love and Mercy site and photos © Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions.
My first post or the one with the most unimaginative title ever is not about me. Primarily because I’m not a me, me, me sort of person and secondly, I want to tell you about a really good film I saw before I forget how brilliant it was. Love & Mercy (2014) was recommended to me by my Darlin’ Husband. He said it was a “weeper” – as I have the tendency to cry at totally contrived or unexpected romantic moments in films.
In this biopic film, John Cusack plays Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. With support from Elizabeth Banks as his second wife Melinda Ledbetter and Paul Giamatti as his psychotherapist Dr Eugene Landy. It tells how following a panic attack in the 1960s, Brian Wilson stopped touring with the Beach Boys and attempted to create their new album. Meanwhile, he becomes unwell, hearing voices in his head. Simultaneously, it also tells of how in the 1980s, Wilson – in middle age – is seen under the care of his therapist, Dr Eugene Landy. Landy appears to be abusive and controlling towards Wilson. Brian meets car saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter, who he dates and she hopes to help Wilson and to stop Landy’s abuse.
This film is wonderfully and convincingly acted by the cast. I found Cusack’s portrayal of Wilson a sensitive one and vulnerable throughout the movie. In Cusack’s hopefully Oscar-winning performance, we find Wilson was treated badly by both his father and his psychotherapist. It was a wonderful moment when Wilson found the confidence to phone Melinda to ask her on a date. Paul Dano – as the younger Wilson – in contrast appeared more confident and expressive, particularly when he was in the studio. This despite Wilson’s hearing difficulties and before he was affected by his voices.
Melinda was seen as a caring and gutsy woman. She fought for Wilson’s cause and she helped Wilson find himself and ultimately his confidence to believe his life would improve. Paul Giamatti was totally convincing as Landy. I have nothing but praise for this film and would add it easily to my ever-expanding list of favourite films.
Only one thing spoiled it and that was what I call the Andie McDowell moment. This when you think “WTF why did they keep that bit in…?” (and refers to that annoying line in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) where she says “Is it raining, I hadn’t noticed…”). In this film moment, the older Wilson goes looking for Ledbetter. He wanders aimlessly around outside her apartment block to meet her for a date. I then start to think about another John Cusack film, Say Anything (1989). Here the Cusack character gets the girl in a similar situation. In this iconic and much parodied scene he puts a ghetto blaster on his shoulders with Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes blaring out. At this moment, I inwardly thank the producers for not using the Beach Boys for this part of the Say Anything soundtrack and start to sob.
Weeper Rating: 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 /10
Handsqueeze Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 /10
Bonus Trailer: Yes, Teaser Trailer
Love & Mercy Official Teaser Trailer (2015) – Brian Wilson Biopic HD, Movieclips Trailers
The Year, After Year Blogathon 2019, No 1
This post was added to The Year, After Year Blogathon run by Movie Movie Blog Blog. Other films with this cast include Elizabeth Banks in The Lego Movie. John Cusack stars in 2012, Class and Say Anything. Paul Giamatti stars in Rock of Ages and 5 Spectacular Singing Film Actors.