Love & Mercy

Love & Mercy

Bill Pohlad (2014)

12 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

Old Brian Wilson John Cusack
Young Brian Wilson Paul Dano
Dr Eugene Landy Paul Giamatti
Melinda Ledbetter Elizabeth Banks
Director Bill Pohlad

Other Information

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