Easily the best music-based biopic to come along in years, Love & Mercy focuses on the tragic period in the life of Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson when he was struggling with mental problems and under the control of Svengali Dr. Eugene Landy (played flawlessly evil by Paul Giamatti).
Just about every role here is brilliantly cast; Elizabeth Banks plays one of her best roles yet as Melinda Lebetter, the woman who ultimately rescues Wilson. Also turning in a great performances are John Cusack as Wilson in the 1970s and Paul Dano as the younger Wilson. The movie is sentimental without being sappy and manages to show Wilson in an unbiased light – not always a given with biopics. Even if you were never a fan of Wilson or The Beach Boys, it’s still a fantastic movie about struggle, compassion and moving on.
Love & Mercy/103 Mins./Lionsgate/2015