Directed by Bill Pohlad
I’ve always been bored by the “Artist Biopic” formula and its need to hit all the salient points in a lifetime and, as result, lose the in-between moments that make up an artists’ soul. When I communicate this, I’m always asked how would I do it differently. I’m not a director so I’ve never had an answer…NOW I DO!!! I haven’t decided which is portrayed with more accuracy and zeal in this incredible film; witnessing the creation of a musical masterpiece, or a man’s descent in to full blown mental illness. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a beautiful and inspiring love story thrown in for good measure. This should be required viewing for all who wish to direct a film about the those human conditions (love, madness, artistic impulse). The other important thing to know about this film is that Paul Dano is going to win as many awards for acting as there are this year. If you hate the Beach Boys (God help you, if you do), or aren’t a mental health services provider (congrats, if you aren’t), then, at the very least, GO TO SEE DANO’S PERFORMANCE! Cusack is very, very strong (maybe his best performance since “High Fidelity”), as is Elizabeth Banks. Giamatti is a bit one-dimensional, but with reason. To sum up: I didn’t just love this film, I was strongly, STRONGLY affected by it. Easily the best film of 2015 thus far.
Originally written 06.09.2015