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Elizabeth Banks
TIFF 2014: John Cusack and Paul Dano channel a Brian Wilson melody
TIFF 2014: John Cusack and Paul Dano channel a Brian Wilson melody

There are few genres that get filmmakers more excited, and audiences more bored, than the music biopic. Oft-trod, easily misbegotten, it’s a form that can even turn sane filmmaking heads into concrete--and movies into VH1-ified examinations of talented people who rise, fall and learn some lessons along the way. So it’s a refreshing surprise to find “Love & Mercy,” a story about the pop icon Brian Wilson from two ends of his life, break the mold and even invigorate the form. Written by Oren Moverman (“The Messenger,” “I’m Not There”) and directed by the producer-financier Bill Pohlad, “Love” eschews the easy flashback or...

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