Look, I love a good biopic. I always have. For me, well-done biopics merge with Actual History in a blender in my brain: memories of The Doors (film, books, internet, Feast of Friends, that one reunion tour) are interspersed with scenes from The Doors; photographs and albums that house the memory of Johnny Cash get tangled up with flashes of Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. I think, having always been some sort of a writer, that my brain likes to be told stories in one fell swoop, postcards and faded photographs in a shoebox to touch and smell and fill in the spaces between views. With all this said, I had high expectations for this weekend’s visit to the movies for Love & Mercy, and I’m happy to report back that it did not disappoint.
I can’t recall a time in recent history when I’ve sat through a film, got to the end, and wanted to have the theater to myself for a second viewing immediately following. Love & Mercy is so intimate, so painful, so intense, and so joyous all at once — I laughed, grieved, was completely deflated and found absolute hope all in the span of two-ish hours spent in the back of the theater. Impeccable acting and intensely personal subject matter merged with golden timing to deliver what is by far the movie of the year for me — and as somewhat of a superfan, I’d even venture to say that casual fans of the Beach Boys / Brian Wilson would enjoy it just as much.
Five stars / four thumbs up / all the awards there are to give.