A Beautiful Mind (The Awards Edition)
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A Beautiful Mind manages to twist enough pathos out of John Nash's incredible life story to redeem an at-times goofy portrayal of schizophrenia. Russell Crowe tackles the role with characteristic fervor, playing the Nobel prize-winning mathematician from his days at Princeton, where he developed a groundbreaking economic theory, to his meteoric rise to the cover of Forbes magazine and an MIT professorship, and on through to his eventual dismissal due to schizophrenic delusions. Of course, it is the delusions that fascinate director Ron Howard and, predictably, go astray. Nash's other world, populated as it is by a maniacal Department of Defense agent (Ed Harris), an imagined college roommate who seems straight out of Dead Poets Society, and an orphaned girl, is so fluid and scriptlike as to make the viewer wonder if schizophrenia is really as slick as depicted. Crowe's physical intensity drags us along as he works admirably to carry the film on his considerable shoulders. No doubt the story of Nash's amazing will to recover his life without the aid of medication is a worthy one, his eventual triumph heartening. Unfortunately, Howard's flashy style is unable to convey much of it. --Fionn Meade

Customer Reviews:

  • the mysterious equations of love
    In the contest of love and Jennifer Connelly against the infinitude of chaos, the match goes to love and Connelly, 1-0.

    Mrs. Elizabeth Nash - as played long-sufferingly and with an understated intensity about her performance that can only be called gorgeous - is one of the several centerpieces of this memorable film.

    You don't get a clinical presentation of schizophrenia here, and the news coverage following this 2002 film suggests that you don't get a history of Princeton mathematician John Nash's life either.

    What you get are epic performances by Russell Crowe and partner Connelly, together with enormously assured supporting roles by Ice King Ed Harris and Paul Bettany, together with the kind of rich and textured cinematography that must have upped Princeton's application rate with its sheer autumnal elegance.

    Crowe's heroic battle against the delusions that plagued Dr. Nash's mind are gladiatorial in scope, though it would be difficult to imagine a role more restrained and internal where that famous acting played out violently and before drooling crowds. As one of Rome's famous gladiators, Crowe found redemption by bringing down a sinister emperor. Here he does so by quietly accepting the pens ceremonially laid before him by his Princeton colleagues and then by explaining that 'it is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logical reasons can be found.'

    Those who love or have been loved against the infinitude of chaos will understand Dr. Nash's discovery, regardless of whether the real Nash ever said those things from behind a Stockholm podium.

    Don't overlook this film when building your posterity collection. As human drama goes, a finely crafted fiction can ring more true than the connected dots of what really went down and who said what....more info
  • A great love story and a great movie
    I'm very touched by the movie, especially the love of John Nash's wife to him. Love is patient, love is endurance, love is not just after one's own benefits, and love shines. And Jennifer Connelly's Oscar is well earned.

    Highly recommended.
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  • 3 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    An often-moving story, A Beautiful Mind sometimes rambles or takes too long on a dead end of a plotline, but deserves praise for taking one of the most formulaic genres (the biopic) and doing something completely different, mainly successfully....more info
  • Beautiful indeed.
    I probably never would have watched this movie if my wife hadn't brought it home and said something like "I got a movie for us to watch tonight".

    I found this movie gripping from the very start. Russell Crowe's intensity got me hooked from the first scene, and mind bogglingly beautiful Jennifer Connelly kept me entranced with both her looks and her great acting right to the end.

    Without duplicating what others have written, I just want to say that to me the geniune brilliance of this movie is that is portrays a character who suffers from schizophrenia and allows us to genuinely share in his experience by thoroughly developing characters who turn out in the end to never have really existed.

    It's like he made a schizophrenic out of the viewer for the first half of the movie! The character discovers that his roommate, the roommate's neice, and the scary Fed Spy Guy weren't real just as we the audience do. Brilliant! I really didn't know for a while how this story would end, and what reality really was.

    Also, as the father of a mildly autistic child, it gave me hope for his future too. The human mind is a beautiful thing indeed, and even when it doesn't work quite right, it can self-diagnose and make corrections, and maybe solve one of the the world's problems if we just give it what it needs most, love. Bravo!

    My only dissapointment is in the bonus material. I wanted to learn a little more about the supporting characters, but the casting segment was just about Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connely. That's a minor nitpick.
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  • a beautiful mind
    very happy to have this movie well pleased thank you whoray33...more info
  • Crowe Does It Again!
    The more I watch Russell Crowe, the more I am becoming a big fan of his acting talent. Here again, he demonstrates his skills in a role that had me spellbound. Of course, mentally-ill fictional characters are usually fascinating. Look how popular the cable television show "Monk" has become.

    Crowe's character, mathematician John Nash, is not nearly as eccentric as "Monk," but his schizophrenia makes for a fascinating portrait of a very troubled man. This is another of those based-on-a-true-story films, so don't take everything here as gospel truth....because it ain't so. (One example: in real life, Nash's wife was anything but as supportive as Jennifer Connelly was portrayed here.)

    Add some classy-looking cinematography, thanks to one of the best cameramen in the business, Roger Deakins, and the film is even better. I'm not always a fan of director Ron Howard, but his films are usually interesting and pleasing to the eye. He and Crowe seem to be a good pair, too, as witnessed by 2005's "Cinderella Man."

    For those who enjoy a cerebral thriller, this is a very intriguing film. Ed Harris, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas and Anthony Rapp all deliver solid supporting help and, if you haven't seen this, this story will deliver a big surprise. If you know the ending, a second viewing is even more interesting as you trace Nash's actions from the beginning.
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  • A Beautiful Movie and Very Emotional I highly Recommend
    Based on Slyvia Nasar's book; this movie is about John Nash a brilliant mathemitician and code breaker who in turn suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. In real life John Nash only heard voices and did not see things. He starts at Princeton, where he is accepted into graduate school and where his schizophenria beginngs. He has a roomate played by Paul Bettany and his own close group of friends. He is befrinded by Alicia NAsh one of his students played well by Jennifer Connelly. They marry and throughout their marriage they are plagued by his continued delusions and hallucinations. His wife knows there's something wrong but will do anything to save her marriage and tries very hard. Ed Harris playes the imaginary government conspirator who leads John to believe his is part of a conspiracy and Paul Bettany playes the imaginary roomate. John Nash is gets so involved with his delusions that it starts to effect his marriage and his life especially after his first son is born. Christopher Plummer plays the psychitrist who tries to help him and does by hospitilation. This is a very emotional movie for anyone that has dealth with schizophrenia. I highly recommend it you will not be disappointed. Ron Howard did a brilliant job directing this movie....more info
  • A Beautiful Movie
    Russel Crow delievers again in this really well done movie. I enjoyed the story a lot and at some points didn't know who to trust. Don't miss this film....more info
  • A big winner at Sunday's 74th annual Academy Awards...
    Schizophrenia, a disease of the brain, is one of the most disabling and emotionally devastating illnesses known to man... It is characterized by a constellation of distinctive and predictable symptoms... These include thought disorder, delusions, and hallucinations...

    The film recounts the story of John Forbes Nash Jr., a Princeton brilliant mind, who rides up to the heights of mathematical prowess, down through mental breakdown, and finally up to regain the equilibrium...

    Russell Crowe ventures on a journey of fear, humiliation and vulnerability, giving a real and moving portrait of a troubled man whose gifts were his downfall...

    We see him impolite and rude, too smart to have to attend class, lacking social skills, insulting the great ideas of his colleagues, calling their work derivative, and declaring, "To find a truly original idea is the only way to distinguish myself."

    Nash is obsessed with patterns... He spends his days writing perplexing formulas on his dormitory window in search of a breakthrough idea... He gets it one night, while out with his fellow scholars at a local bar where a stunning blond grabs their attention... He recreates the design of a classmate's tie reflecting light through glass... He follows the movements of pigeons as they compete for food... He stares obsessively at too many numbers, and reveals his natural ability helping the Pentagon crack the mathematical codes the Soviets are using...

    He becomes friend with his roommate, Charles Herman, who is everything he is not - charming and charismatic... He somewhat refines his social manners enough to win the love of a beautiful physics student who would become his wife...

    Then he begins to look for secret messages in newspapers and magazines, interpreting vague, undecipherable connections between letters and numbers...

    His mental derangement grows to uncontrolled proportions and the lines between reality and delusion begin to occur as his hallucinations take control of his life in every instant... Nash soon begins to understand the nature of his mental illness and, while he is never cured of his hallucinations behavior, eventually keeps struggling to overcome it...

    Crowe imparts every facet of John Nash's personality with clarity and feeling... He wins our sympathy merely by showing us a man climbing to the top, falling to the very bottom, and through love and determination fully, recapturing his potential once again...

    Jennifer Connelly begins to establish herself as a young actress to watch for... She exudes class and sophistication... She makes a marvelous loving wife forced to face the realities of schizophrenia... She tries to do what's best for her husband, but in the face of adversity to take the decision she does, it is inspiring to think that love is the seed of all hope, and what makes the ride worthwhile...

    Paul Bettany gives another charming turn as Nash's only true friend... He is able to extend any sympathy or understanding, frequently pushing Nash to leave his inquiries for a pizza and beer break...

    Ed Harris looks nicely menacing in his black fedora... You never know if the man is real, a delusion or both as he constantly drives Nash to the verge of insanity and beyond...

    Adam Goldberg makes a quiet impression as a Princeton alumnus...

    Ron Howard evokes the beauty of Nash's mind, and brings us with tenderness, the story of a tortured-genius... His choice to shoot much of the film from Nash's point-of-view is both effective and intriguing...

    The film peacefully highlights the value of a very clever man who gains a beautiful heart, mainly through the love, faith and strength of his lovely wife...

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  • The aberrant reductionism !
    The new generations barely are aware about the existence of " Fareneheit 451" , a fundamental sci-fi text written by Ray Bradbury, that carves in relief the chilling reality of a recent future, where the increasing frivolity of the modern times makes most of us simply have no time to read and so we have to conform with the reading of history without words; I mean the human knowledge reduced to cartoons, futile candies for a funny entertainment and pop corn images that vaguely intend to depict the complex and fascinating universe of the culture. Maybe Ray Bradbury had smiled quietly when he saw for the first time a video clip don' t you?

    When you try to adapt the personal universe of such complex mind in order to intend to seduce the masses through a sugary plot, you are committing a moral crime, due the nestled reality of any human being may not be told with such linearity; even the humblest person in the world has his likes and dislikes, contradictions, phobias and little sins, because the innocence - in its purest state - is exclusive property of the saints.

    In this sense, if you want to get close to a light approach of a brilliant mind, then go and astonish by yourself, but at the moment you leave the hall you, don' think you have become aware about the life and times of this man; barely you have explored the anecdotic character, and nothing else.

    Brilliant performances.
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  • An intolerable and emotionally sterile ordeal
    John Forbes Nash attended Carnegie Institute of Technology on a Westinghouse scholarship. At Princeton University, he published his work on equilibrium theory and earned a Ph.D. by submitting a dissertation on non-cooperative games.

    Ron Howard embellished Nash's life story reversing non-cooperative games with the cooperative theory. For example, Nash convinces the group not to go for the Blonde and in turn each would get a girl. In the movie, Nash celebrates his discovery and uses cooperative theory as a basis for his disertation. Nash theorized that cooperation help each individual realize their self-interest. Nash supervisor, under protest agrees too publish Nash's work, stating, "You know this goes against 150 years of accepted economic thought", setting the stage for a new Newton or young Einstein reformer. Nash does not uproot or imbalance the academic establishment but instead reveals certain ritualistic quagmires associated with academic thought, telling associates: "not to attend class, it will dull your mind", "I'm almost certain that your paper has not one ounce of original thought", and in one fit of insanity declare that the University was necessary to gain recognition and meaning.

    Equilibrium Points in N-person Games and complexity theory seeks too explain why systems will reach equilibrium points that keep the system from exploding into diversity or solidifying into inactivity. The problem is the sheer magnitude of possible combinations makes the theory more conceptual than practical. Nash did not win the Nobel Prize because of his economic thought. Computers, MIT, and game theory make Nash look like he is in pursuit of a pointless and fruitless profession. In the movie Nash is portrayed as a brilliant and natural code breaker. Code breaking ability distracts Nash's from his true mathematically brilliance, the mathematical proofs of Riemann manifold and spirals him down into government conspiracy against the Russian's plot. Nash demostrates intriquing capability with his work on Riemann space. I doubt Nash solve the Riemann hypothesis, a conjecture by Ron Howard.

    At MIT, Nash marriages Alicia in 1957 and two years later commits him to a mental hospital and attraction to a brilliant genius turns into a dysfunctional marriage. Ron Howard depicts Nash delusional and forgetting his son John whom he has place in a bathtub filling with water. Alica rescues John from drowning. In the movie Alicia does not divorce Nash but explodes in rage at his impotence and disinterest. The primary reasons in the movie for Nash to stop taking his medicine and allow his imaginary characters to emerge.

    Ron Howard directs the viewers into believing in Nash's extraordinary ability to understand complexity theory and pattern recognition. Nash becomes a monster and then through the loving care of his students gains social acceptance and help to overcome his paranoia. How effective could the insulin and shock therapy be? This seems to paint the medical community as barbaric and ignorant and ridicules the quest for a cure. Yet it happened. Nash would find a fair haven in the world of computer programming, pattern recognition, and large number theory. Nash received the John Von Neumann Theory prize for his invention of non-cooperative equilibria and the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economics for game theory.
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  • A Beautiful Mind
    What you have here is a beautiful love story between a husband & wife. When everything in John Nashs' life falls a part his wife is there for him. The story is well told and well cast....more info
  • A moving masterpiece
    Before watching any Russell Crowe movie, I thought of him as a pretentious jerk. After watching this movie, (my first RC movie), I fell in love. So much so that I had to rent Cinderella Man and Gladiator. An exceptional actor who took the story of John Nash and made us understand the reality of Schizophrenia. You would be crazy not to watch this. ...more info
  • A great insight into Mental Illness
    I resisted this movie for awhile. I tend to rebel against anything or anyone who appears to be over-hyped. I got tired of hearing about Russell Crowe. Finally I broke down and bought the movie.

    In a way, this is two stories in one. The beginning story is totally engrossing and believable. You watch this beautiful mind, this talented man emerge into his field, gather followers, find love, and get an intriguing, dangerous job. Then you learn The Truth.

    The remainder of the story depicts a man's struggle against his "emotional illness," eventually without the use of drugs (because they diminished his Beautiful Mind, his brilliance).. His struggles to hold onto his beloved wife and family.. and his eventual story of humble triumph.

    This was a great movie, and made me a Russell Crowe Fan.

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  • Psychosis shown more dramatic
    This movie "A Beautiful Mind" can show the viewers what schizophrenia under psychosis is like - how serious the psychotic person's case is. More serious than other psychotic patients, like digging out his arm. His wife importantly explained to him how to differentiate between reality and schizophrenia's false visions and false voices.

    I find this movie interesting that there are such people who are down with psychosis or schizophrenia, can be geniuses and even can be back to sane mind.

    This movie was produced by the directors of the movies who may never have experienced psychosis or schizophrenia so they produced such movies in their own understanding level, not psychotic experiences....more info