Trailer: John Cusack Takes On Brian Wilson With “Love & Mercy”


Hitting theaters June 4, Love & Mercy centers of the life of Beach Boys member Brian Wilson (played by Paul Dano and John Cusack), the mastermind behind one of rock’s most seminal albums Pet Sounds

Brian Wilson’s skills for creating multi-layered pop tunes was partly driven by his own competitiveness with The Beatles and “Wall of Sound” creator/producer Phil Spector, and though Wilson’s music created some of the world’s most beloved harmonies and compositions, his passion and obsession came at a huge price.

My entryway to Brian Wilson’s music didn’t come from a deep, abiding love for “California Girls” and the familiar summer sounds of the Beach Boys. The 1995 documentary Brian Wilson: I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times, directed by Don Was, was my introduction to the depth of Wilson’s heartrending personal journey and artistic triumphs (the doc also features the playing of a home demo of one of my favorite Wilson tunes – the evocative and haunting “Still I Dream of It”).

Brian Wilson and the cast of "Love & Mercy" - From left to right: Graham Rogers, Brett Davern, Paul Dano, Brian Wilson, Jake Abel, Kenny Wormald.
Brian Wilson and the cast of “Love & Mercy” – From left to right:
Graham Rogers, Brett Davern, Paul Dano, Brian Wilson, Jake Abel, Kenny Wormald. (Credit: Francois Duhamel)

Running at 120 minutes, the PG-13 flick was co-penned by Oren Moverman, the director behind the first rate features The Messenger and Rampart. Elizabeth Banks co-stars in the film as Wilson’s wife Melissa Ledbetter and Paul Giamatti is Wilson’s controversial therapist Eugene Landy.

Capturing the sounds, images, and the complexities that inhabit Brian Wilson’s mind must have been a complicated process for John Cusack, Paul Dano, and director Bill Pohlad, but if the trailer below is any indication, Love & Mercy is definitely on the right track.

Paul Dano in "Love & Mercy" (Credit: Francois Duhamel)
Paul Dano in “Love & Mercy” (Credit: Francois Duhamel)


Greg Srisavasdi

I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

Greg Srisavasdi has 1270 posts and counting. See all posts by Greg Srisavasdi

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