Love & Mercy

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Love & Mercy

Bill Pohlad (2014)

12A Certificate


Our Score
This uneven biopic focuses on two significant periods in the life of Brian Wilson, the troubled singer-songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. Half the film takes place in the 1960s, and follows Brian (Paul Dano) as he tries to take the band in a different, somewhat experimental direction. The other half is set in the 1980s, when Brian (John Cusack) has become a fragile, overly medicated man-child whose life is being micro-managed by a manipulative psychotherapist (Paul Giamatti). As the film cuts back and forth, each strand rings false in different ways, especially the romance that develops between Cusack's middle-aged Brian and Elizabeth Banks's compassionate saleswoman. Dano features in the most effective sequences - which depict Brian recording an album in the studio - but neither he nor Cusack is able to quite disappear into the role. A fascinating biopic could be made about Brian Wilson, but this isn't it.


Biopic of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, following the singer-songwriter at two periods in his life. In the 1960s, he is at his creative peak, but haunted by inner demons that take their toll on his mental health. By the 1980s, he is a broken man dominated by a shady doctor, until a new relationship offers him a chance at recovery. Starring John Cusack, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks.

Cast & Crew

Brian Wilson, older John Cusack
Brian Wilson Paul Dano
Melinda Ledbetter Elizabeth Banks (2)
Dr Eugene Landy Paul Giamatti
Mike Love Jake Abel
Dennis Wilson Kenny Wormald
Carl Wilson Brett Davern
Al Jardine Graham Rogers
Murry Wilson Bill Camp
Marilyn Wilson Erin Darke
Van Dyke Parks Max Schneider
Director Bill Pohlad
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: SonyGuidance: Swearing, drug abuse. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 10 Jul 2015