It might be hard to imagine a mathematician as an exciting movie hero -- even a brilliant, mentally unstable mathematician. What's a director going to do with that? A dramatic zoom on the guy's calculator?
Yet Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind" is the fifth film in as many years focused on an off-kilter arithmetic genius -- and each one of them has been mesmerizing in its own way.
Fictionalized without seeming contrived, this biography of Princeton professor and Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash, Jr. is the story of a determined man overcoming madness on his own terms. It is a "let's make an Oscar movie" movie. It doesn't have "Good Will Hunting's" street-smart charm or "Pi's" jarring, visceral depiction of delusion. It's not intricately intellectual like "Conceiving Ada" (about Ada Byron King, great-grandmother of the modern computer) or deeply moving like "Infinity" (about Los Alamos bomb-designer Richard Feynman and his tuberculosis-afflicted wife).
Continue reading: A Beautiful Mind Review