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 (email@example.com)
Screenwriter Oren Moverman has said that about 20 minutes of footage was excised from the film before its theatrical cut. 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 »
Sometimes it scares me to think where it's coming from, you know? Like... There's someone else in there, not me. Well... What if I...
[lights a cigarette]
What if I lose it and never get it back? What would I do then? Take a listen to this again, I wanna... do something with it. Um... I've got - I think I've got it. The music part, it worked out in my head, but... I don't know anything else except that it should... it should sound like, you know, a cry, but in sort of a good way ...
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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 version which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and a few subsequent public screenings contained a few extra scenes, such as an "I Get Around" studio sequence, and a scene where Wilson meets Phil Spector on the street. The closing song "One Kind of Love" was also absent from this cut. See more »
Brian Wilson's story is worthy of a movie. Neither his creative genius or his mental illness were appreciated until years after the fact. His childhood, as was Michael Jackson's 15 years later , shaped the adult life he inherited. His creative genius allowed and encouraged him to be used by others, including the other "Beach Boys". Mike Love is finally exposed in this film. The story is very interesting. The casting very good, the acting excellent. John Cusack hasn't been this good maybe never. Elizabeth Banks will be a feature actor after this film. Dano did a very good job. Giamarti might have been a little over the top but to someone who appreciates the Beach Boys and music in general, the scenes from the recording studio are priceless. My fault finding with this movie are the direction and editing. Too long, too dry in spots. A better director would have won an Academy Award with this story
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