ByAlan Mehanna, writer at
Lebanese American. Screenwriting MFA. Teacher. Writer. Actor. Dreamer.
Alan Mehanna

A painfully magical and engaging look into the life of musical genius Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

A quick review before heading to work:

Brian Future: I want you to leave, but I don't want you to leave me.

I wasn't sure what to expect when my good friend and filmalholic friend told me to go watch it, but I went in because let's face it - it's a chance to head to the cinema.

What I was treated with a beautifully painful film about the struggles of a young artist trying to make sense of the world around him while attempting to get those around him to understand what he is trying to create and do. An interesting look at how sometimes artists will sacrifice or "sell-out" to simply please the record companies or their audience when deep down they have much more interesting things to say.

Brian Past: We're not surfers, we never have been, and real surfers don't dig our music anyway!

A film with the most intricate and detail oriented sound design that I have ever seen. It places you within the mind of Brian Wilson making everything you hear in the film coming directly from his perspective (interior diegetic). There were moments when I felt like I wanted to scream and run out of the half empty screening room (it was a pre-release screener) because of the realism that is placed within the sound design of the film.

Beautiful performances from Paul Giamatti (seriously, is there a role that this man can't play?) as the twisted and hated psychotherapist that literally abuses Brian Wilson and takes advantage of him; Elizabeth Banks (I love her) as the strong Melinda Ledbetter; finally Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Past and Brian Future (respectively) both give the performances of their lifetimes and make it so easy to see how much Wilson struggled with the genius within him.

Melinda Ledbetter: When did you first start hearing voices?
Brian Future: 1963

A beautiful film filled with good vibrations that is not to be missed for anyone who loves music and wants a peak into the Beach Boys.


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