June 10, 2015
Steve Sailer reviews ‘Love & Mercy,’ the Brian Wilson biopic
Steve Sailer writes:
Dano is tremendous as the 23-year-old Brian, a seemingly guileless musical savant who just wasn’t made for these times. Yet Wilson responds to the challenge posed by the Beatles’ 1965 Rubber Soul album by disappearing for half a year into the studio, where he commands a crew of ace studio musicians in expanding the limits of sound. My only complaint about Dano’s performance is that the movie star isn’t quite as good-looking as his subject. Part of Wilson’s appeal has always been the irony that he’s this huge all-American galoot who is emotionally sensitive to the point of fragility.
It’s perhaps not coincidental that the two prime American inventors of the “studio as instrument” concept both went nuts: Wilson’s idol Phil Spector turned bad crazy after his “River Deep, Mountain High” failed to catch on in 1966, and Brian Wilson went sad crazy trying to record Smile in 1967.
I will not apologize: I know it’s uncool to like these guys, but come on:
Admit it: if they weren’t Canadian, we’d do less eye-rolling when their name came up.
(Also, I liked them 25 years ago, when they were just a passed-around cassette tape — which I no longer have, alas. And when I saw them then, at Ontario Place, they killed themselves to put on a show. Amazing fan service, before it was a “thing.”)