John Cusack, Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy

Roadside Attractions

Get ready for a trippy, sometimes horrific ride.

While you may think Love & Mercy is a biopic about the sun-filled happy times of the Beach Boys is anything but that.

The Bill Poland-directed film, which opens tomorrow and is already picking up some Oscar talk, tells the real story behind the group's genius, Brian Wilson, his mental illness, drug problem, his father's physical and emotional abuse and the years he spent under the control of a twisted Svengali-like therapist named Eugene Landy.

"I'm scared and nervous as hell," Wilson's daughter Carnie Wilson told me earlier this week at the movie's L.A. premiere at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. "It's just emotional. The whole thing is emotional."

Wilson was eventually able to get his life back in 1992 after his girlfriend (and future second wife) Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks) encouraged his family to go to court to remove Landy (Paul Giamatti) as his legal guardian.

Paul Dano plays Wilson in his younger years and Cusack plays him during the 1980s.

Paul Dano, Love & Mercy

Francois Duhamel/Roadside Attractions

"It's really a triumph of love and I don't think people know this side of his life," Banks said. "And I really am loving how so many people are discovering what a courageous man he was and how he kept his creative fire going despite everything and to bring his battle with mental illness into the open, I think is really beautiful and inspirational for families everywhere."

In 2004, Wilson received his first Grammy for Brian Wilson Presents Smile, an album that was originally conceived for the Beach Boys but delayed because of his personal issues and creative clashes with the band.

Brian Wilson, Melinda Wilson, Grammys

Jason Merritt/Staff

While Carnie Wilson had yet to see the movie when we spoke on the red carpet, she said she was confident Love & Mercy would do her dad justice. "Everything that's been done so far has been s--t. Just s--t," she said. "There are always lies...but I think this could be different because it's going into his mind for the first time."

With tears welling up in her eyes, Carnie said, "I'm just happy that his name and spirit and his music continues to be celebrated. He's really given a gift to the world and I'm really proud of that."

Before the screening even began, Wilson, now 72, received a standing ovation when he and Melinda were introduced on stage.

Talk about good vibrations.

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