Hail Hail Cusack’s Back and Dano’s Better Than Ever

John Cusak

I was blown away by Love and Mercy and I never liked the Beach Boys. But now I do! An engaging screenplay, co-written by Oren Moverman, who also wrote The Messenger and I’m Not There is the deepest I’ve seen in trying to capture the long term effects of child abuse.

The director, Bill Pohlad, is most known for his big budget productions (12 years a Slave, Into the Wild).

And thank the good Lord that John Cusack got a decent script. Let’s kick his Abe Lincoln Vampire Slayer days to the curb, shall we, and add Hot Tub Time Machine as well. Even he had the good sense to say no to Hot Tub round two. Cusack’s phenomenal nuanced performance of depressed and uber eccentric older Brian Wilson is award worthy. Paul Dano’s terrific portrayal shows the mad genius behind every great songwriter.

I admit that I was skeptical going in about how Paul Dano and John Cusak were going to play the younger and older versions of Wilson when they don’t look too much alike. But alas, I never even thought twice about it.

And Paul Giamatti, not only was I on a high from his knock out performance as the angriest juror in Amy Schumer’s take off on Twelve Angry Men, but then he shows up in Love and Mercy as the creepiest sadist I’ve seen in some time.

Absolutely, go see this film.

2 thoughts on “Hail Hail Cusack’s Back and Dano’s Better Than Ever

  1. Giamatti actually plays his ‘psychologist’, but coincidentally, Amy Winehouse’s father is reminiscent of the same ‘fame above health’ debauchery. Thank you for your eloquent comments.

  2. Brian Wilson is on the Mt Rushmore of Rock and Rollers. (Even without Yoko’s permission.) Many have assumed that the falsetto and beach music was strictly a pop snack. His music was ultimately the opposite: deep, emotional, layered and ground-breaking. Even his bass playing (or at least bass arrangements) were like nothing heard before. Sir Paul, said that Brian Wilson was an inspiration to the Beatles. Have not seen the film, but I assume Giamatti plays the father…keep those thoughtful reviews coming, very enjoyable.

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