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A Beautiful Mind (2001)

  Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ed Harris
Links: A Beautiful Mind on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on Video, Buy the Book
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 8.67 (3 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 28th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

A Beautiful Mind (2001) is also mentioned in pearly's review of I Am Sam (2001).

"The boy can act" - a review by mino

Ahhh, Russell. The Kiwi every Australian loves to call their own; the ultimate lad-next-door, nice enough to take home to meet Mum but enough of a rebel to keep things interesting. Historically, this means that he shouldn't actually be able to act -- most 'Hollywood bad boys' can't. Fortunately, Russ is the exception to this rule. Russell can act. From Romper Stomer to The Insider, Russ has showed that not only can he act, he's got quite an impressive range. And A Beautiful Mind is no exception.

A Beautiful Mind is the (true) story of John Nash, the mathematician who won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in the field of Game Theory, who also happens to be schizophrenic. A Beautiful Mind covers Nash's wrestle with his schizophrenia, which rapidly spirals out of control as he finds himself immersed in the shadowy world of international espionage and code-breaking (an environment not conducive to good mental health at the best of times).

Of course, as with any "biopic", the movies has its detractors. Nash's homosexuality is largely ignored, for example, and some have complained about the 'trivialising' of schizophrenia. But in a way, these flaws are largely irrelevant. In fact, the plot itself is quite irrelevant. The attraction of A Beautiful Mind is purely and simply as a vehicle to showcase the acting talents of a certain Mr. R Crowe.

Everyone knows that playing someone with a serious mental (or physical) illness is a solid-gold bus pass to the land of Acting Credibility, and usually to an Oscar. In Russ' case, the gong wasn't forthcoming; but lord, he sure does take an acting lesson. It's very easy to play a mentally ill character in an over-the-top, exaggerated way, but Crowe plays Nash in a careful, subtle way (well… at least for Hollywood), and you really end up feeling for Nash as he struggles with his inner demons. Crowe is simply brilliant, more than making up for any problems with the plot. The supporting cast includes Jennifer Connelly as Nash student (and later wife) Alicia, and Ed Harris as the mysterious 'Parcher', Nash's guide to the world of espionage. Harris is, unfortunately, the weakest performer in the movie. I am unsold on Harris' talents, I must admit, and A Beautiful Mind does nothing to convince me otherwise.

All told, ABM is a film that will make you think, and despite its 'blockbuster' status, is a lot more intelligent than most of the pap Hollywood sees fit to spoon-feed us these days. My only complaint is that, as a card-carrying maths nerd, I would have liked more game theory-related discussion. I am a bit of a freak though.

Actually, come to think of it, I'm a lot of a freak.

mino gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 29 May 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 1
Number of ratings: 3
Average rating: 8.67
Lowest rating: 8 (by mino)
Highest rating: 9 (by em_fiction, pearly)
 
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Reader comments

  1. good

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from uh ha on Sun 25 Apr 2004 08:04 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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