Brian Wilson biopic: Love and Mercy

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

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  1. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    I finally saw this last night, thought it was okay. The best thing about it was Paul Dano by a long shot. The 80's stuff was necessary in that I don't think I would have enjoyed it just being about the sixties era, no matter how much I liked what Dano did with it and the visual presentation of that time period. The back and forth between the eras was a good decision.

    That said the 80's parts aren't without some major problems for me. One being I never got past John Cusack, he never came close to becoming Brian Wilson in my eyes. I found the best scene with him to be the final one when he got out of the car to see the freeway where his old house once was.

    Second problem was Paul Giamatti chewing up the scenery, made all the worse by his (probably accurate) 80's look. It's like they presented Landy as a really dangerous buffoon and I'm not sure those two characteristics work together.

    The third problem isn't as big a deal; I like Elizabeth Banks well enough, but she's just playing the exact same character as I've seen her do before. This one is more of a niggle because in fairness, I knew Brian's story somewhat already but had no idea how he got away from Landy, didn't know about Linda at all. So she didn't need to inhabit Linda Ledbetter for me to believe her.

    Cusack and Giamatti are quality actors but I don't think they were what was needed in this film.
  2. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    I give all these 'bad choice of actors/acting' criticisms a pass for the AWESOME 'sound collage in the head' bits!
  3. Jason Manley

    Jason Manley Forum Resident

    Just a head's up that the film is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
    Jack Lord likes this.
  4. shmuckler

    shmuckler Forum Resident

    Munich, Germany
    Yep, already saw it. Liked it too.
    Jason Manley likes this.
  5. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Ordinary Guy

    The best thing about this movie are the session shots, hearing the actual audio from those sessions. I think even Dano didn't do a good Brian. I have watched everything available and am a huge Brian fan but I have to disagree with all the comments saying Dano was really perfect for this. He missed a lot of Brian's 'goofiness' type of behaviour and played it to tame, too straight.
  6. balzac

    balzac Senior Member

    Paul Dano did about as good as one possibly can. The previous actors in the role (1990's "Summer Dreams" and 2000's "An American Family") did far worse, and looked even less like Brian to boot.

    I've long felt Brian's "sense of humor" is overstated. Perhaps to his most inner circle he expressed a true and unique sense of humor. But I've almost never heard or read Brian do or say something *purposely* funny. In some of the Smile-era interviews and session tapes where he tries to do "humor", it comes across kind of like an android trying to tackle the subject of "human humor." His idea of doing an entire humor-themed album of some sort would have been a disaster.

    Brian has done a tone of weird stuff that's funny, but it's unfortunately usually unintentional.

    This is the funniest, seemingly intentionally funny, thing I've seen Brian say in eons:

    goodiesguy, Vidiot, Maggie and 6 others like this.
  7. the sands

    the sands Forum Resident

    Oslo, Norway
    Great movie. Dr. Eugene Landy made me laugh. What a sociopath. :eek:
  8. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Des Moines
    Wow Cusack was terrible in this movie. Complete miscast. He played Brian like Rain Man. Paul Dano was fine as young Brian. Cool music bits saved the film.
  9. davenav

    davenav High Plains Grifter

    Louisville, KY USA
    I think the Cusack critics need to chill out. I met Brian in the early nineties, and I think the portrayal is very good. Much closer than, say, Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow - which no one complains about.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  10. erikdavid5000

    erikdavid5000 Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    I loved Cusack ... In fact when the real Brian comes on at the end, I was struck at how much he reminded me of Cusask!!! Only far more handsome.

    It's Dano I had more trouble with.
  11. TheLazenby

    TheLazenby Forum Resident In Memoriam

    I haven't seen the movie in its entirety yet (NO ONE carries the damn DVD!) but from the clips I've seen, John Cusack *nailed* older Brian's tics.
  12. TheLazenby

    TheLazenby Forum Resident In Memoriam

    Oh, I dunno, I always found the "psychedelic sounds" stuff (Brian, Van Dyke, etc.) really funny, in a surreal "Lumpy Gravy" kind of way.

    It wouldn't have worked on Smile, but it's interesting to hear.
  13. thgord

    thgord In Search of My Next Euphoric Groove

    Moorpark, CA
    One thing that I didn't understand from the movie was how Murry eas,able to sell the BB catalog when a) He had been fired as their manager and b) Brian looked old enough to be emancipated. I'm sure many here are equipped with the knowledge to answer this. Thanks.
  14. drbeachboy

    drbeachboy Forum Resident

    Murry, even after he was fired as manager, was still running Sea of Tunes. Supposedly, Murry forged Brian's signature. Also, it seems that there was a conflict of interest with the Boys attorney. He was also the attorney for A&M (Irving Music). He told the others that they had no choice but sign away their rights. Mike's book goes into greater detail about how it all went down.
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  15. thgord

    thgord In Search of My Next Euphoric Groove

    Moorpark, CA
    Thanks. Still seems very shady and actionable had they wanted to.

    I really enjoyed watching the movie, my second viewing. Paul Dano was a great casting choice. While Cusack is questionable casting decision, I don't have any complaints as to what he brought to the role. Just found it distracting watching him play Brian, as physically he really had no resemblance, whereas Dano really did look the part. They did a wonderful job recreating the Beach Boys sound and gorgeous harmonies. Very enjoyable movie which I'm sure that I will re-watch again.
  16. drbeachboy

    drbeachboy Forum Resident

    There was action in the 90s, but not with the desired result.

    As for the movie, I liked both actors who played Brian. Dano nailed the young Brian, while Cusack had the latter Brian's mannerisms and speech down pat.
  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    That's 100% correct. What shocked me is that Murry goaded Brian into selling Sea of Tunes to Irving Music for $750,000 (!!!), and you know that their publishing has made millions of dollars a year for the past 45 years.

    Brian's lawyers finally sued Irving Music when this subterfuge was discovered in 1989, and then settled with them for $25 million. Mike Love then sued Brian on the basis that he had written some of these songs and never gotten paid for them, and Brian wound up forced to basically giving Love half the money.

    Brian Wilson Sues Music Publisher
    Company Town : Beach Boys' Mike Love Wins His Case, Stands to Collect Millions : Music: A federal jury sides with lead singer in a dispute over an award related to the sale of the group's song catalogue.
  18. Bill Larson

    Bill Larson Forum Resident

    I thought that was a good thing. Brian '88 looked nothing like Brian '66. It's like so much changed inside, that the exterior changed too.
  19. Andy Lee

    Andy Lee Active Member

    North Shields, UK
    I enjoyed it, but I would have liked more on the 'missing years'.
  20. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    It was a 2-hour film. To capture Brian's entire 70+ year lifetime would require a very long, involved miniseries with a massive budget, and that's not what this was.
  21. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Silver Creek, NY
    Does anyone know if this film is streaming on any services now?
  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    It's on iTunes.
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  23. wingsoveramerica

    wingsoveramerica The Dude

    Chambersburg, PA
    Amazon Prime has it. And, last time I checked, Hulu has it too.
    Spaghettiows likes this.
  24. TheSeldomSeenKid

    TheSeldomSeenKid Forum Resident

    Love and Mercy on AXS TV tonight.
    Did not realize it was also Amazon Prime, as I have been meaning to check out this movie having just bought 'Pet Sounds'(SH's Audio Fidelty version), 'BW Presents Smile' and the 2-CD Smile Sessions Mini Box in the past month, as wanted to explore this music after hearing about it on this forum.
    MRamble likes this.
  25. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Good TV movie.
    I would have appreciated it more if it came out in 1988.
    The MEZ, erikdavid5000 and somnar like this.
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