Beach Boys biopic is emotional, engaging, and totally deserving of Oscars buzz [Review]

Beach Boys biopic is emotional, engaging, and totally deserving of Oscars buzz [Review]

Hawaiian shirts, boyish haircuts, and catchy ditties: the Beach Boys were the 1D of the 60s. But like all success stories, there is a dark subplot waiting to be dramatised by Hollywood. Love and Mercy pushes the boundaries of the traditional biopic, using surreal scenes to show lead singer Brian Wilson's unstable mental state as his band's success peaks and dips.

In Bill Pohlad's film, Wilson is played by Paul Dano and John Cusack. The two actors portray the musician in distinctly different ways: Dano as a young Wilson crackles with creative energy, producing pop hit after hit; while Cusack is defeated - a broken man wrecked by mental illness and its misdiagnosis at the hands of his "therapist", Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti).

Light breaks through Wilson's condition when he meets his wife-to-be Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks), who gives him a newfound zest for life.

Packed with the Boys' biggest hits, Love and Mercy is a rousing, romantic celebration of music that's generating Oscars buzz. Question is: who will win in 2016?

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Emotional and engaging biopic

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