Moviecrazed
  Web www.moviecrazed.com   



A BEAUTIFUL MIND

Based on the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who suffered from schizophrenia, the movie won an Academy Award for Best Picture of 2001. Oscars also went to Russell Crowe (Best Actor), Jennifer Connelly (Best Supporting Actress), Ron Howard (Best Director) and Akiva Goldsman (Best Screenwriter).

(Now in stores)


CAST: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, Christopher Plummer

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard


"... the intellectual and political context that would throw both Mr. Nash's genius and his madness into high relief has been obliterated...anything that would dilute our sympathy by acquainting us with the vicissitudes of Mr. Nash's real life has been airbrushed away, leaving a portrait of a shy, lovable genius...a piece of historical revisionism on the order of 'J. F. K.' or 'Forrest Gump,' and manifesting a depressing lack of faith in the intelligence of the audience...The story of this Nash is not without its beauty...above all there is the fierce presence of Mr. Crowe, who refuses every temptation to overact the role set before him...The movie can--indeed, should--be intellectually rejected, but you can't quite banish it from your mind." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Crowe brings the character to life by sidestepping sensationalism and building with small behavioral details. He shows a man who descends into madness and then, unexpectedly, regains the ability to function in the academic world. Nash has been compared to Newton, Mendel and Darwin, but was also for many years just a man muttering to himself in the corner...Director Ron Howard is able to suggest a core of goodness in Nash that inspired his wife and others to stand by him, to keep hope and, in her words in his darkest hour, 'to believe that something extraordinary is possible.'...The movies have a way of pushing mental illness into corners. It is grotesque, sensational, cute, funny, willful, tragic or perverse. Here it is simply a disease, which renders life almost but not quite impossible for Nash and his wife, before he becomes one of the lucky ones to pull out of the downward spiral. --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"A light veneer of condescension hangs over 'A Beautiful Mind,' even though Nash's schizophrenia is not specifically linked to his genius, the implication is that he would not have been able to achieve his intellectual breakthroughs without his intellectual derangements...The movie is really about how Nash suffers for his gifts and is rescued by the love of a good woman...It's also about how, give or take a Nobel or two, Nash is not all that different from you and me." --Peter Rainer, New York

"It's everything most movies this year have not been: deeply felt, genuine, gracious... As a romance, between a madman and the woman who idolized him and loved him and never left him even after his descent into illness, it's wrenching. As a thriller, about Nash's secretive work for the government and its shadowy operatives, it's captivating." --Robert Wilonsky, Los Angeles New Times

"Instead of an originally conceived movie that reflects Nash's troubled but brilliant mind, we have one of those formulaically rendered Important Subject movies--the kind that seem exclusively designed for Best Picture nominations...the movie's all formula, formula, formula. Hellbent on masticating everything--no matter how elusive and original--into easily digestible, user-friendly pulp, the filmmakers render Nash into mash." --Desson Howe, The Washington Post

"Gripping, smart and moving, without falling prey to sentimentality, it shows what can be achieved when mainstream filmmakers like Howard and Goldsman are genuinely inspired and determined to be honest...It also boasts what is unquestionably the outstanding performance of the year in Russell Crowe's portrayal of John Forbes Nash Jr. ...To the enormous credit of Goldsman and Howard, their film avoids the twin stereotypes of the schizophrenic as either a monstrous psycho killer or an oracle with much to teach the rest of us, and all the other movieland clichE`s in between." --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

"Crowe, as directed by the goopy Ron Howard, goes way too far in his performance...'A Beautiful Mind' tries to build drama on a character and a performance to which we simply can't relate. Crowe's ticks and mannerisms add up to nothing more than an acting class exercise...I admired Crowe in 'L.A. Confidential' and 'The Insider,' but I'm not sure he's cracked up to be the next Gary Cooper or Clark Gable...But neither is Ron Howard destined to be any kind of Frank Capra. This is a precision story as told by filmmakers who are shooting at the side of a barn with water balloons filled with syrup." --Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner