Love & Mercy presents an unconventional portrait of Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. Set against the era defining catalog of Wilson’s music, the film intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the icon whose success came at extraordinary personal cost.
Love & Mercy is a 2014 American biographical film directed by Bill Pohlad, about musician and songwriter Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. The film, deriving its title from the 1988 song by Wilson, is presented in a parallel narrative covering two specific time periods in Wilson’s life: the 1960s and the 1980s. Actors Paul Dano and John Cusack depict the young and middle-aged Wilson, respectively, with Elizabeth Banks as Wilson’s second wife Melinda Ledbetter, and Paul Giamatti as Wilson’s psychotherapist Dr. Eugene Landy.
In 1973, following a creative breakdown, a long descent into drug use and the death of his father, Brian Wilson — the primary force in the Beach Boys, among the most significant American rock ’n’ roll bands of all time — became a recluse. For the next two years, he spent most of his days in bed, occasionally showing up in public without changing out of his bathrobe.
When he resurfaced in 1975, he was in the care of a controversial therapist named Eugene Landy, who (incorrectly) diagnosed Mr. Wilson’s condition as paranoid schizophrenia and oversaw his every move for the next decade, until the Wilson family — and Brian’s new girlfriend, Melinda Ledbetter, whom he would later marry — won a court order freeing Brian from Mr. Landy’s grip.
Love & Mercy | Monday Night Film Series | Tilley Hall, Room 102, UNB Campus | Sept 28, 2015 – 7:30pm | See full schedule