As award season ramps up, the team behind the ambitious Brian Wilson biopic have made mental health awareness a priority.
In Bill Pohlad’s “Love & Mercy,” the mental breakdown of Beach Boys star Brian Wilson is sensitively followed over the the course of decades, featuring a dual performance by Paul Dano and John Cusack in different eras of the Beach Boys’ frontman’s complicated life. The film doesn’t follow a traditional biopic format, and that extends to its message about mental health, which is handled in a surprisingly realistic way — one that eschews the kind of neatly-packaged happy ending that other biopics often fall back on.
That approach has also informed the film’s awards season platform, as the “Love & Mercy” team has used the attention paid to the feature to spotlight the need for better mental health initiatives and a more compassionate approach to those who suffer from mental illness.
Wilson himself and his wife Melinda (played in Pohlad’s film by Elizabeth Banks) recently partnered with the Campaign to Change Direction, a national initiative to change the culture of mental health in America.
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