LOVE & MERCY
Beach Boy Brian Wilson is a broken man in his biographical film. Portrayed by two actors, Paul Dano (’60s Brian) and John Cusack (’80s Brian), Wilson is psychologically shattered despite his popularity, wealth, and accomplishments. In the two main periods covered by this movie, Wilson is seen as the victim of loathsome bullies: his father, who beats him; his cousin and bandmate, who fights him at every turn over his new musical direction; and — worst of all — Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti), the psychotherapist who overmedicates him, controls every moment of his life, and rips him off financially. Luckily there’s the angelic Melinda (Elizabeth Banks) who fights to protect him. It’s a must-see for Wilson fans, though it’s not clear whether the film will appeal to those who don’t know or don’t care about his music.
Rated PG-13. 120 minutes. Violet Crown. (Steve Terrell)