A Beautiful Mind

"Essential"

A Beautiful Mind Review


I hate math. I've always hated math. It gives me a pounding headache. It would take a miracle to convince me of its value. But A Beautiful Mind has accomplished the impossible; after watching the film, I have a new appreciation for math as an art, and for mathematicians as artists.

Seldom do movies contain enough power to influence or change our convictions. Through enormously convincing performances, a masterful screenplay, and aggressive direction, this movie takes us on an extraordinary journey into the mind of a fascinating character, providing insight on its unique subject. Move over Good Will Hunting, here comes the ultimate movie about a math wiz!

Based on a true story of a mathematical genius, A Beautiful Mind introduces us to a very complex individual in the form of John Forbes Nash (Russell Crowe), who began as an unconventional student at a prestigious college. Nash made an astonishing discovery early in his life and found himself on the brink of international acclaim, then married the love of his life (Jennifer Connelly), and later was diagnosed with a severe case of schizophrenia.

It's a memorable expedition from sanity to insanity and back again. A Beautiful Mind is a warm, determined, and encouraging holiday treat from director Ron Howard, who completely earns forgiveness for some of his past misfires and expands into new, innovative ground. It's one of the best movies of the year, and one of Howard's most effective film achievements.

Russell Crowe's Academy Award-worthy portrayal of Nash depicts the character's external existence, but Ron Howard examines his internal character with an even greater edge. Howard, directing a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, defines the character through vivid examples instead of plodding narrative. In one scene, Nash mingles with acquaintances at a bar. A group of flirtatious young ladies walk in. Instead of cracking obscene jokes with his friends, or approaching the women with bad pickup lines, Nash calculates and articulate mathematical techniques on how to address the women and earn their affections. (I'll have to try this sometime.)

When he examines articles or numerical problems, the solutions visually jump out of the paper. We get a feel for his thought processes thanks to Howard's dazzling direction. The camera circles John's head, creating a sensation of ideas whirling around in his mind.

And this is the closest I'll ever get to understanding solutions to complicated math problems. But A Beautiful Mind isn't really about math. It's about the genius of John Nash, and the complexity of his brain as he struggles with himself.

I always thought math could drive a man crazy. This story proves my theory correct.

The Beautiful Mind DVD is loaded with extras -- two discs worth, in fact -- and the highlight is Ron Howard's feature commentary along with his comments about about 20 minutes worth of interesting deleted scenes. Even if you don't think the film is worthy of being named the best picture of 2001, you'll probably find a new respect for the movie somewhere in this disc set. (That said, footage of Nash's real-world Nobel Prize acceptance is not going to do it.)

The writing's on the window.



A Beautiful Mind

Facts and Figures

Run time: 135 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th January 2002

Box Office USA: $170.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $313.5M

Budget: $60M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Imagine Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 154 Rotten: 50

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as John Nash, as William Parcher, as Alicia Nash, as Dr. Rosen, as Charles, as Sol, as Hansen, as Bender, as Ainsley, as Helinger, as Thomas King, as Marcee, Jillie Simon as Bar Co-Ed, Victor Steinbach as Prof. Horner, Tanya Clarke as Becky, Thomas F. Walsh as Captain, Jesse Doran as General, Kent Cassella as Analyst, Patrick Blindauer as MIT Student, John Blaylock as Photographer, as Governor, Anthony Easton as Young Man, Cheryl Howard as Harvard Administrator, as Princeton Professor, David B. Allen as John Nash Teenager, as John Nash Young Man, Erik Van Wyck as Princeton Student

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.