In 1965, Brian Wilson began work on Pet Sounds, an ambitious album that brought us instantly recognizable tunes such as “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Sloop John B”, “God Only Knows” and would ultimately lead to the iconic summer anthem “Good Vibrations”. In the lead up and aftermath of Pet Sounds – by many considered to be the best album of all time – Brian Wilson was plagued by auditory hallucinations and panic attacks. In Love & Mercy, we see a young Brian Wilson (played by Paul Dano) at the height of his career creating the signature sounds of the Beach Boys, then fast forward to the 1980s with a middle-aged Wilson (played by John Cusack) struggling with mental illness and under the thumb of therapist Eugene Landy. When Wilson meets Melinda Ledbetter at a Cadillac dealership, she becomes determined to save him from the manipulative Landy.
Love & Mercy is a snapshot of one of modern music’s most influential and tortured geniuses. It is available to reserve on DVD at the Haliburton County Public Library.
*Originally published in the Haliburton Echo.