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'Love & Mercy' At The Avon In Stamford Tells Beach Boy's Tortured Story

Photo Credit: Theatrical release poster

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Currently playing at Stamford’s Avon Theater is "Love & Mercy," the story of the tortured musical genus Brian Wilson — the creative heart and soul of the legendary rock group The Beach Boys.

Over the years, Wilson wound up paying a heavy price for his talent. This was especially evident during his peak artistic years in the 1960s, as he struggled with his inner demons, obsessions, and addictions while he was stuck trying to please his abusive father, all of which drove him to a mental breakdown that would plague him for years.

'In this very insightful film we witness that struggle as we bounce back and forth between the heady years of the ‘60s and the ‘80s, when Wilson is barely functional and under the domination of the unscrupulous Dr. Eugene Landy.

As the film opens we are introduced to Brian Wilson (Paul Dano) who — even though he is helping lead the group to critical and commercial success — feels the pressure of the road and convinces them that he wants to back off from touring with them and will remain home in the studio creating new music for the group.

The film juxtaposes Dano and John Cusack as Wilson and presents an unconventional portrait of Wilson, as it intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the iconic figure whose success came at extraordinary personal cost.

The Avon Theater is located at 272 Bedford St., Stamford.

"Love & Mercy" is rated “PG-13“ and runs 120 minutes. It stars Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Jake Abel, and is directed by Bill Pohlad

Norwalk resident Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.


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