In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.
Brian Wilson is the creative soul of the Beach Boys, but he paid a heavy price for his talent. That especially shows during his peak artistic years in the 1960s, as his inner demons and obsessions trying to please his abusive father drive him to a mental breakdown that would plague him for years. In the 1980s, with Brian barely functional under the domination of the unscrupulous Dr. Landy, Brian meets and falls in love with Melinda Ledbetter. As their relationship grows, she observes Brian's crippling subservience to the abusive psychotherapist with growing alarm. Ultimately, she must take action with a love willing to stand up to oppression she cannot ignore. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dano and Cusack did not interact with each other during filming. This was encouraged by Pohlad, who didn't want the actors to simply perform an impression of Wilson, but to create their own organic understanding of his character. See more »
In the studio, the baritone saxophone player is seen with a Yamaha baritone saxophone. Yamaha didn't make baritone saxophones until 1969. See more »
First, there's concert footage of the recent Brian Wilson, himself, singing "Love & Mercy", and then at the very end there is audio of a brief recreated studio recording of Good Vibrations, with '60s Brian leading the dialogue. See more »
The performances of both Paul Dano and John Cusak are Oscar worthy. It's hard to believe all that sunny happy music came from such a dark place. Long heralded as a genius to see Brian Wilson during the making of Pet Sounds is astonishing. To see Brian Wilson later is heart wrenching. Stay for the credits. You will go back to listen to Pet Sounds with a whole new appreciation. Elizabeth Banks also gives a first rate performance as his girlfriend. It really is amazing to see how John Cusak captured Brian's mannerisms and voice. The way the story is told is unique in it's mix of the use of both actors. Should be a tough contender come awards season next year.
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