Bill Pohlad

Love & Mercy

“Oh, the loneliness in this world / Well, it’s just not fair” “Lonely. Scared. Frightened.” If we take Bill Pohlad’s impressive Love & Mercy at face value – which is difficult to do with any biopic, particularly ones that are as complicated and complex as Pohlad’s feature – Beach Boy Brian Wilson wrote both of those lines during a fraught time in his life. The first lyric is taken from his song “Love And Mercy,” from which Pohlad’s film (obviously) takes its name, the second is scribbled on a note early in the feature. Both lines reflect the pain Wilson felt throughout his life, an emotional and mental ailing that eventually pushed the musical genius into a lifestyle that approached that of a recluse, a captive and a victim. The story of the Beach Boys proper has been put to the screen before, but Pohlad’s film (beautifully scripted by Oren Moverman and Michael A. Lerner) is concerned with Wilson, the unofficial leader of the band and its primary songwriter during its most successful years. Wilson, for all his success and genius (and a lot of that is on display in the film, an addition that will please Wilson’s fans and help clarify the depth of his talent to viewers who are perhaps not familiar with him), has long suffered from anxiety attacks and auditory hallucinations (he hears voices, to put it crassly), and Pohlad’s film traces the beginning of those issues up through their unexpected consequences with care and respect. […]


Beach Boys

Bill Pohlad‘s Love & Mercy is looking to start filming this summer, and it looks like they’ve got the biggest pieces of the puzzle all set. According to The Wrap, John Cusack is in talks to join the production, playing Beach Boy Brian Wilson in his mid-life years while Paul Dano plays the younger version of the iconic musician. With a script from Oren Moverman (The Messenger), the movie seeks to chronicle Wilson’s life from his 1960s success, through his public breakdown to his modern reemergence. And, really, he makes for a fascinating subject with a hell of a soundtrack on his hip, but the names behind Love & Mercy build up a lot of excitement. Pohlad was a producer on Into the Wild, The Tree of Life and The Runaways; Moverman has shown incredible emotional nuance in his scripts; Atticus Ross (The Social Network) is scoring the film; John Wells is also producing; and Wilson himself has given the project his blessing. This is huge. A fascinating story of a genius that has nothing but potential and the best minds surrounding it. Let’s hope the boys of summer get their start date soon.

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published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

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