Brian Wilson biopic: Love and Mercy

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vidiot, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Saw this in a discount theater not that long ago. What a beautiful film!
     
  2. goodiesguy

    goodiesguy Boulful Sallad

    Location:
    New Zealand
    I think Paul Dano looked more like CARL Wilson personally, especially this era Carl:

     
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  3. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    An interview with Paul Dano & Elizabeth Banks at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation:



    Really cool interview, too good not to post.
     
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  4. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
  5. stunner2020

    stunner2020 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I caught this last night - although I have obviously been aware of Brian Wilson's genius and I do own and enjoy Pet Sounds, I'm also by no means a Beach Boys connoisseur so I went into it only having general ideas about Brian, such as the sandpit in the living room, the two years in bed, the mental illness, etc.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed it. Paul Dano seemed perfect for the role in my eyes, as did John Cusack in all ways except visibility. You have to say he's done pretty damn well to have only aged about five years since High Fidelity, but it was difficult at times to recognise him as anything like Brian Wilson and not simply John Cusack. I do, however, think the dissonance between Dano's portrayal and Cusack's was probably intentional and it just about works. I think we were supposed to see 60's Brian and 80's Brian as two entirely separate characters. Some of the scenes - for example the scene towards the end of the film with the three different Brian Wilson's in the bed, reminded me of the Serge Gainsbourg biopic from a few years back, which views the protagonist through three different lenses: the child (Ginsburg), the man (Gainsbourg), and the character (Gainsbarre). Of course, Gainsbourg doesn't have the happy ending, really - eventually the character, the child and the man are indistinguishable. But I'm rambling; what I'm trying to say is the dissonance worked for me, because as someone not hugely familiar with his life, I learnt about Brian Wilson the abused child, Brian Wilson the damaged adult, and Brian Wilson the visionary genius who ties the two together.

    One minor issue with the film, through no fault of their own, is that in the scenes where he's formulating Pet Sounds and Smile, all I could think of was the similarities to the almost-identical scenes in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, which are, of course, a thinly-veiled parody of late-60's Brian Wilson.

    Finally, for those of you a bit more au fait with Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. How "true" is this story? Primarily, were the Wilson patriarch and Mike Love really that detrimental to Brian's mental state? And I have to say, Paul Giamatti was utterly terrifying in his psychotic portrayal of Eugene Landy, but a quick bit of research after watching the film suggests that perhaps things weren't quite so black-and-white as the film portrays. Was Landy really like that?
     
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  6. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Also very reminiscent of the 1996 film Grace of My Heart.

    Brian was asked, "was your life really as tough as portrayed in the movie?" And his answer was "real life was much worse."

    I think it's fair to say that Landy had his good side as well, and Brian has said many times that Landy absolutely saved his life. The problems came up after Landy saved his life and then enmeshed himself into Brian's business and personal affairs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  7. davenav

    davenav Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    I'd like to see Paul Dano & John Cusack nominated for Oscar nominations. A long shot, I know...

    But, damn they are both great as Brian.
     
  8. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

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  9. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    That's terrific to hear! I read the other day (I forget where) the studio will be pushing Cusack as Best Actor and Dano as Supporting Actor. Either way, Dano deserves it if he gets an Oscar nomination. Both he and Cusack really poured themselves into their respective Brian's. But, I have to say, there's a little something extra with Dano's Brian Past.
     
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  10. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    That's the most sensible approach for the Oscars. They'll probably go for Best Ensemble on the Golden Globes.
     
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  11. CCrider92

    CCrider92 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape Cod, MA
    Finally got to see this. Brian's wanting a Cadillac saved his life. A simple, mundane step in life can change everything - for better or worse. In this case it gave Brian a new lease on life and to us it gave more of Brian's talents.
     
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  12. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
  13. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident

    Location:
    MI
    Paul Dano got a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor. It's too bad that this fine film didn't make more of an impact at the box office, but maybe some awards/critical buzz will inspire people to give it a chance.
     
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  14. The Zodiac

    The Zodiac God's Lonely Man

    I hope Dano wins. But he's up against Sly Stallone, who is getting a lot of attention right now.

    It would be nice if Brian won best original song.
     
  15. RMP1967

    RMP1967 Forum Resident

    Oh, I'm torn there. Dano was brilliant, but I have a soft spot for Sly and have long felt he doesn't get the credit he deserves. (Course, Sly should probably have won for Copland, but that's another story...)
     
  16. The Zodiac

    The Zodiac God's Lonely Man

    Oh yeah, he was great in 'Copland'. I love that film.
     
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  17. JCM

    JCM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    "You blew it!" DeNiro to Stallone.

    First thing that comes to mind from "Copland". That sound effect was used on the Stern show for years...
     
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  18. RMP1967

    RMP1967 Forum Resident

    My favorite, which I try to work into conversations whenever possible, is "Your plan is the plan of a boy!"
     
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  19. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    Which song?
     
  20. The Zodiac

    The Zodiac God's Lonely Man

    One Kind of Love
     
  21. fredhammersmith

    fredhammersmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Saw the film yesterday, loved it, nothing to add to the great comments here, but one musical question: should I get the Smile Sessions by the Beach Boys or Brian's modern version,first?
    I have a bootleg that i have not listened to in a while. I should get the real thing.
     
  22. Bill

    Bill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    I'd go with the Beach Boys' version. The Brian Wilson album was great to hear the long-booted songs in a cohesive, finished form, and the musicianship is top-notch, but you can't beat the vintage recordings with the group voices and Wrecking Crew musicians, playing the material in the 60s.
    By the way, although I bought the Sessions box, the 2 CD set is really all I actually needed. I rarely go to the deep stuff or the extras, like the book.
    YMMV.
     
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  23. Mr. H

    Mr. H Forum Resident

    The Brian Wilson album is such a fun listen, but it often gets the short shrift among fans for numerous reasons including debatable historical accuracy, the heavy involvement of others, and the deterioration of Brian's voice.

    The Beach Boys unfinished version really gives us a glimpse at a genius at the top of his game.

    Coming at it from the perspective of the film, the obvious suggestion is to check out the Beach Boys Sessions version first, but if you like it, I suggest checking out Brian's version.
     
  24. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan 48854
    Both are good, though as good as Brian's band is, there's nothing that tops those BB's vocals. And it's fascinating to hear Brian at work in the studio.
     

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