When even the happy songs are sad


Don’t let their sunny sound fool you. Behind the Beach Boys’ happy songs was Brian Wilson whose beautiful mind conjured up sounds both sublime and terrifying in equal measure. More than a bio-pic, Love & Mercy is a portrait of the artist—as a traumatized and exploited young man, who was ultimately saved by the transformative power of love and the creative process. (The scenes of the recording sessions, played by authentic musicians not actors, are the best part of the film.) Once you see it you’ll never hear their music in the same way again.

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