the contenders event sold outAt last Saturday’s sold out The Contenders Presented By Deadline event at the DGA Theater, Roadside Attractions used their slot to showcase their June release, Love & Mercythe story of Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson.  And while the film stars Paul Dano as the younger Wilson  and John Cusack love and mercyas the older Wilson, another key component of the cast is a splendid Elizabeth Banks playing Melinda, Wilson’s wife who managed to withstand the great musician’s mental illness and his destructive relationship with the overbearing Dr. Eugene Landy, to finally help pull him out of the darkness.

Banks delivers a potent turn here, perhaps her best ever, and is being touted for a Supporting Actress nomination.  For Contenders she appeared side by side with the person she plays in the film, Melinda Wilson.  Forget critics, because if ever there could be a more ringing and important endorsement for her performance it was the one she got from Wilson that day.  Wilson told me it all happened just as the film shows. Click on the video link above to watch.