Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile Reviews

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lesleyanorton
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2009
SMILE was the legendary unfinished album started by Beach Boy Brian Wilson in the mid 60's as a followup to the successful and influential PET SOUNDS. Recording difficulties, resistance from the rest of the Beach Boys, and Wilson's breakdown all meant the project was shelved, apparently forever, except when bits and pieces found their way into subsequent greatest hits compilations. Nearly thirty years and a long battle with drugs and mental illness later, Wilson finally found the stability and support to finish his symphony. If it was a Hollywood movie, it would end here with a smiling Brian Wilson and a standing ovation. He being a highly talented composer, it did. Fascinating. Watch the documentary first and then the recording of the 2004 Royal Festival Hall concert premiere for maximum impact.
½ July 15, 2015
Watched this on youtube - looks like a video take - hope to find it elsewhere. Incredible trip through a creative genius' mind.
½ May 20, 2012
Fascinating chronicle of Brian Wilson. Far more influential and experimental than you might otherwise think. However, I thought it most bizarre that there was no mention of Wilson's time spend under the care of Dr. Landy. I'm not sure how that gets omitted?
½ March 31, 2011
Almost as good as watching the live performance of SMiLE itself, this documentary smartly balances the history of an album born and lost in the 60's with the story of its rebirth at the turn of the millenium. Satisfying for both the hardcore fan and the newcomer with its interviews, narrative and historical footage, the film traces the rise of Brian Wilson with the Beach Boys, the crest of his success with the release of Pet Sounds, his descent into mental illness with the initial attempt to produce SMiLE, and his redemption decades later.
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