Taking notice of the truly exceptional sonic wizardry of ‘Love & Mercy’

Sound has been an essential part of filmmaking for nearly ninety years, yet is the art and the craft of sound mixing and sound editing is not especially appreciated by modern cinephiles, including this writer. But the recent release of Bill Pohland’s double-sided Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy caused me to stand to stand up and take notice of the film’s truly exception sonic wizardry, which uplifts the film, enhancing the story and giving a voice to the characters’ souls, which too often are unable to speak for themselves.

The most obvious use of sound in a movie about the life of Beach Boys songwriter Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind countless hits and the milestone album Pet Sounds, is obviously going to be in the music, and Love & Mercy does not disappoint there. The film begins with credits set to the pleasing tones of mid-‘60s Beach Boys pop-rock,
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Toronto Film Review: ‘Love & Mercy’

Toronto Film Review: ‘Love & Mercy’
A wonderfully innervating cure for the common musical biopic, Bill Pohlad’s “Love & Mercy” vibrantly illuminates two major breakthroughs — one artistic, one personal — in the life of the Beach BoysBrian Wilson. Certainly more conventional than Todd Haynes’ fractured Bob Dylan collage “I’m Not There,” but miles removed from the cookie-cutter approach taken by so many other rock bios, this finely crafted split portrait should win over music nerds skeptical of yet another complicated life being reduced to a series of highlight-reel moments, and provided more mainstream auds are willing to take the trip, Paul Dano and John Cusack’s expert performances should attract an appreciative reception.

Alternating back and forth in time, Pohlad and screenwriters Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner eschew a long-winded biographical approach in favor of two temporally specific parallel narratives. In one, roughly covering the period from 1965-68, Dano plays Wilson as he resigns from touring,
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CAS sounds off with noms

The Cinema Audio Society is set to announce Thursday that the nominees for outstanding achievement in sound mixing for motion pictures are The Bourne Ultimatum, Into the Wild, No Country for Old Men, 300 and Transformers.

Re-recording mixer Kevin O'Connell -- who has been nominated for an Oscar 19 times -- is in contention for the CAS award for his work on Transformers, along with production mixer Peter Devlin and re-recording mixer Greg P. Russell.

Other nominated teams include production mixer Edward Tise and re-recording mixers Michael Minkler and Lora Hirschberg for Into the Wild; production mixer Kirk Francis and re-recording mixers Scott Millan and David Parker for Bourne; production mixer Peter Kurland and re-recording mixers Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey and Gregg Orloff for No Country; and production mixer Doc Kane and re-recording mixers Chris Jenkins and Frank Montano for 300.

CAS feature nominees tend to fare well in the sound mixing category when the Academy Awards nominations are announced.

In the category of television movies and miniseries, the nominees are Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, "The Company (Part 2)," High School Musical 2, "The Kill Point (Part 5)" and Tin Man.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Living Doll episode), Jericho (Why We Fight), Scrubs (My Musical), The Sopranos (The Blue Comet) and 24 (Day 6: 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.) make up the nominees in the television series category.

Clooney: "I Didn't Leak 'Huckabees' Footage"

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George Clooney has issued a $1 million challenge to anyone who can prove he's behind the leak of internet outtakes of I Heart Huckabees. The footage, featuring actress Lily Tomlin and director Davd O. Russell screaming at one another, hit cyberspace late last week, and Clooney, who famously fell out with the moviemaker when they made Three Kings together, has been linked to the leak. But, in a statement released yesterday, the movie star wrote: "Contrary to popular opinion, neither the sound man, Ed Tise, nor yours truly sent in the David O. Russell tape. I saw it (footage) when we were working on Ocean's Twelve, and there have been quite a few copies traveling around town for the last couple of years. Any rumor that either of us put it on the internet is simply false." And Clooney is so keen to prove his innocence he's offering a huge reward if anyone can prove he was behind the leak. He adds, "(I will) offer a million bucks to anyone who would prove otherwise."

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