New LOVE & MERCY Trailer: John Cusack and Paul Dano Are Beach Boy Brian Wilson

     April 14, 2015


Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have released a new Love & Mercy trailer for director Bill Pohlad’s excellent drama about founding Beach Boys member Brian Wilson. The movie takes a unique approach to the standard biopic by focusing on two very specific periods of Wilson’s life: Paul Dano plays the younger Wilson as he creates the band’s magnum opus Pet Sounds while showing early signs of mental illness, while John Cusack plays Wilson in the early 1990s, when he was reclusive, plagued by his disorder, and being controlled by his manager.

I caught the film at TIFF last fall and it’s really great. Dano and Cusack are both incredible as Wilson, as is Elizabeth Banks as a woman who helps bring the elder Wilson out of hiding. Pohlad also stages the creation of the Pet Sounds album exquisitely, refraining from portraying anything as “Eureka!” moments or relying on montages to tell the story.

Check out the new, full-length trailer for Love & Mercy below via Brian Wilson’s Facebook, and click here to read my review. The movie also stars Paul Giamatti and Jake Abel and opens in theaters on June 5th.

Here’s the synopsis for Love & Mercy:

Few musical acts are as widely beloved as the Beach Boys. Under the visionary leadership of singer-songwriter Brian Wilson, the California surf combo redefined the sound of American popular music in the 1960s. But their joyful harmonies and ingenious arrangements concealed Wilson’s private struggle with addiction and mental illness, and by the early seventies he had descended into drug-fuelled isolation. Love & Mercy is an intimate rendering of Wilson’s mercurial genius, illustrating both his musical mastery and the psychological pain it disguised.

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