Brian Wilson Film Focuses On Singer’s Dark Years

The beach Boys

‘Love & Mercy’ is a new film about The Beach Boys’ singer-songwriter Brian Wilson.

The movie chronicles Wilson’s dark years spent under the care of therapist Eugene Landy.

The film stars Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood) as Wilson. The movie charts his rise with The Beach Boys, their seminal album Pet Sounds, the volatile Smile recording sessions and his reemergence in the Eighties with his medical malpractice lawsuit against his therapist Landy.

Landy was a controversial American psychologist and therapist best known for his unconventional treatments. He treated Wilson during his reclusive and paranoid stage during the Seventies and Eighties.


The singer had suffered from a nervous breakdown, stemming from a difficult relationship with his father and the consumption of various drugs such as LSD and heroin.

Also starring in ‘Love & Mercy’ is, Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, 40 Year Old Virgin), John Cusack (High Fidelity, Being John Malkovich) and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, 12 Years A Slave).

Talking to The Blot magazine about the film, Giamatti said: “It’s mostly about Brian Wilson’s nervous breakdown. It falls into two halves with two different actors. First it’s Paul Dano, and John Cusack is the older one. I play Dr. Landy, the crazy psychotherapist. It’s a great character. Brian Wilson had a severe freakout and his family got in touch with a psychotherapistout in L.A. named Eugene Landy who took over. That’s where most of the story comes from, because the doctor was basically insane. He made Brian play in a sandbox, I mean crazy stuff.”

Love and Mercy is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this September.

Check out Brian Wilson performing his song ‘Love and Mercy’ below.