Nowhere Boy follows an adolescent John Lennon as he meets Paul McCartney and forms The Quarrymen. Jersey Boys tells the tale of the rise and fall of The Four Seasons. Love & Mercy is similarly nostalgic, demonstrating the film industry’s tendency to turn to the past for ideas.
In spite of the abundance of biopics in recent years, Love & Mercy is a promising future release, taking a closer look at the man behind such beloved songs as ‘God Only Knows’ and ‘Good Vibrations’.
Paul Dano and John Cusack play younger and older versions of Brian Wilson, co-founder of The Beach Boys, in the 1960s and 1980s respectively. The split narrative emphasises Wilson’s unsteady grip on reality, as the enormity of the band’s success takes a toll on his mental state, gradually overwhelming him. Early reviewers have praised the film for refreshingly taking an unorthodox approach to biography, and for the authenticity of Dano and Cusack’s performances as a musical genius dealing with conflict at different stages of his life.