Love & Mercy

I watched CBS This Morning and saw Amy Lawrence talk about cursed sports cities. Cleveland and Atlanta were at the top of the list, and Oakland was Number 9. I sat down with my computer and looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs for June 5, 1971 were “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,” “It’s Too Late,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “Sweet and Innocent,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Want Ads,” “Joy to the World,” and “Brown Sugar.” I went to work, where we talked about television shows like “Charlie’s Angels” and “Here’s Lucy.” I went over to Safeway to buy some fruit, and then I went over to the theatre to see “Love & Mercy.” Paul Dano did a remarkable job of playing a young Brian Wilson. The scenes showing the recording of the Pet Sounds album and the “Good Vibrations” single were very enjoyable. Paul Dano was so convincing at times that I almost laughed out loud. One problem with the theatre was that the seats made too much noise. There was a lot of squeaking and other sounds. I thought the scene where Brian is having the panic attack on the plane was particularly frightening because they’re stuck up in the air, and relief is a long time coming. I wondered if Paul Dano could really play the bass. He did some of his own singing. Some of the misery that he felt around his father reminded me of “Amadeus.” It helps if you love The Beach Boys, and the Pet Sounds album in particular. One of the funny moments is when Brian has the idea of bringing a horse into the recording studio. The audience was rather quiet for much of the movie. The older Brian Wilson was played by John Cusack. It was hard to believe that the person who looked like Dano was change into the one who resembled Cusack. Elizabeth Banks as Melinda Ledbetter meets Brian in a Cadillac dealership. Cusack did capture some of Brian’s mannerisms, but he wasn’t entirely convincing. Having two different actors play the same character made me think back to Luis Buñuel’s “That Obscure Object of Desire.” Paul Giamatti was the psychologist Eugene Landy. This is the second time in a week that I’ve seen Giamatti play a supposed expert in a field. The other movie was “San Andreas.” The moment people liked the most was Melinda’s move to get rid of Landy. There was an unhappiness that seemed unfair to us watching the movie. It seemed that we should get more pleasure out of watching all of this. Things like musical inspiration and emotional pain are hard to show on film. The people who made this movie deserve credit for not making it too easy to go down, although it ended up too difficult for some people. If it were up to me, Paul Dano would get a vote from me for the Best Actor Oscar. I didn’t know that he was capable of work like this back when I saw him in “Little Miss Sunshine.” The movie showed some aspects of Brian Wilson I’m not sure I really wanted to see. Perhaps they should have shown the depths he reached so that we’d appreciate his comeback. As it is, we heard Landy talk about Brian’s weight. The movie felt long and was tiring to watch. Its greatest strength is Paul Dano’s presence, and I think it’s going to win him a great deal of respect in the movie business. I read Robert Hilburn’s tweet calling “Love & Mercy” an honorable film, but one that doesn’t close the book on Brian Wilson. I guess that means that he considers it not the definitive word on the subject, and perhaps he could write a book about Wilson after he’s done with the Paul Simon book. I went home and watched a bit of television. Liberace was a villain on the Batman program. Diana Prince went through a fake marriage while she was on a case. I didn’t know that Wonder Woman could be rendered unconscious by ordinary means. She was sure running around a lot in the episode. It seemed that Lyle Waggoner was hardly doing anything. I noticed one sign showing the price of gasoline was less than seventy cents a gallon. Diana Prince had a chocolate soda in one scene. She originally ordered a cheeseburger. She turned on some music to take care of electronic bugs in one scene, but the volume was so low that it didn’t do anything. It seemed that she never saw the movie “The Conversation.” The Star Trek episode of the night was “Plato’s Stepchildren.” I saw Dr. McCoy tending to a patient. I tried to watch Marilyn Monroe in “Niagara,” but I fell asleep. Joseph Cotten didn’t give a great performance, based on what I saw. A young Ann-Margret was on the Jack Benny Program. She said she was a sophomore at Northwestern University. A juggler followed her on the stage. Lucille Ball was in a film noir called “The Dark Corner.” I couldn’t see her in a drama. I missed the Belmont Stakes and American Pharaoh’s big win. I wasn’t quite sure whether I would live to see another Triple Crown winner. 1978 seems like a long time ago, considering all that has happened in the years since. I wrote down a list of Playstation games that I should look for in the stores. There were still quite a few that interested me. Some of the people who died on June 7 include Jean Harlow (1937), Alan Turing (1954), Judy Holliday (1965), Dorothy Parker (1967), E.M. Forster (1970), Henry Miller (1980), Jim McKay (2008), and Bob Welch (2012). Today is a birthday for Prince (57), Liam Neeson (63), and Tom Jones (75). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 7, the Rolling Stones released their first single, “Come On,” in 1965. In 1966, Roy Orbison witnessed the death of his wife Claudette in a motorcycle accident in Gallatin, Texas. In 1969, The Who’s “Tommy” album made it onto the album charts on its way into the Top 10. In 1991, the Billy Crystal movie “City Slickers” was released.

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