126 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2001
I was lucky enough to get to see a preview of A BEAUTIFUL MIND. I had read the book and wondered how they were going to make John Nash into a sensitive human being. Well, Russell Crowe
deserves not only an Oscar, but every other award out there! He is sensitive, cold, passionate, and yes, even lovable as the great mathematician.
The rest of the cast is fine, especially the always competent Ed Harris. I guarantee you will laugh, cry, cringe and shudder, and leave the theatre completely satisfied. If you want more information on Nash read the book.
There are some real suprises. Ron Howard made this a feel good movie about a genius...he's added a little sugar, and in so doing directed a marvelous film. Kudos to all!
77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2002
Russell Crowe and everyone associated with this movie got a standing ovation at the showing I attended. How refreshing it was to see a sensitive, serious drama that not only allows you to leave the theater understanding what happened, but feeling good, actually hopeful, that the hardships life deals you can be overcome with persistence, determination, and the support of family and friends.
This is the true story of John Nash, a Princeton student and brilliant mathematician who is treated for schizophrenia. Crowe is magnificent as he battles his delusions (or are they real?) and has an excellent supporting cast in Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Christopher Plummer, Adam Goldberg and all involved. Bravo to Ron Howard for bringing this most interesting story of the 1994 Nobel Prize winner to the screen.
Dysfunction was never so poignant, empathy so heartfelt as for the beleaguered Nash and his loving wife who made the difficult decision to stand by him through a monumental crisis. Viewers are with the couple every step of the way from their initial meeting and awkward courtship to their often-troubled marriage.
The movie has classic lines such as Nash telling a friend that he is well-balanced because he has a chip on both shoulders. There is much humor to balance the sadness, much hope to combat the seemingly impossible situation.
In the end, it is the theme of battling your demons and overcoming the odds to lead a fulfilling life that makes you leave the theater feeling uplifted as a result of this movie. Definitely, one not to miss.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2002
I didn't want to watch this movie. The trailers were boring. The write-up on the DVD package lackluster and dull. When my roommate bought a copy I did everything I could to avoid watching. And for several weeks I did just that. Then came the night that I ran out of excuses. I had nothing else to do, and no other movies that I hadn't seen, so A Beautiful Mind when into the machine. And after ten minutes I was hooked. Russell Crowe really lets his acting abilities shine in this film, and Ron Howard's direction is perfect. I sat through the entire film mesmerized, and tears came to my eyes as John Nash fought back from a schizophrenia that would have incapacitated most anyone else. What a triumph! What a hero! What a role model to anyone who feels overwhelmed by their physical or mental limitations! I walked away from the movie knowing that if John Nash could find success despite an illness of that magnitude, I could overcome anything that life throws at me. There are few movies that stay with you the rest of your life, but this is one that I know I will remember forever.
53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2002
Russell Crowe plays John Forbes Nash, a brilliant schizophrenic in one of this years best film's. A Beautiful Mind dive's deep within the world of Nash's brain with more twist's than a roller-coaster. After the main secret is revealed, more thing's happen that question's what even you know. It makes the audience feel the lost assuredness of whether what we know is real or fake, and that is one of its many qualities. Ron Howard has always been a stand out with his films. From Apollo 13 to Willow, Ron Howard has developed into a director at the peak of his form.
Though Nash is Socially awkward, he manages to steal the heart of a student who is to become his wife. Played by Jennifer Connelly (yeah, Labyrinth) in a fine and realistic tone, Alisha falls in love with John Nash and hold's him up through his illness.
The Math depicted in A beautiful Mind was actual math, made to resemble the deteriorating illness from its less complicated measures to its chaotic and disoriented forms. Also, the math represent's his relationship's, which was an effort some filmmaker's wouldn't have taken. Leave it to Ron Howard.
In one of the first sequences in the film, there is a 360 degree steady-cam shot of John Nash, decifering codes for the FBI. This shot was done to represent the spinning wheels of Nash's mind. It was also my favorite shot in the movie. It caused an urgency and made an exciting feeling from what could have been just an ordinary scene.
The Math wasn't the only thing created from reality. The Therapy sessions and method's were well researched for authenticity. It was reported when John Nash (now 73) and his wife saw the film with Ron Howard, John couldn't watch these scenes, and his wife had tear's streaming down her face. It was like post trauma for them, and too difficult to see again.
A Beautiful Mind is one of most rewarding movies I've seen in a long time. It is my hope that Hollywood continue's to create project's with as much substance and emotion as A Beautiful Mind. Whether it recieves an Academy Award or not, it doesn't take a society of appointed panelist's, nor a gold-sealed manilla envelope to determine my vote. This will be on my shelf of favorites as soon as it becomes available. ~SAOS~
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2008
A Beautiful Mind is one of those rare movies that grace the silver screen once in a lifetime and touch our hearts and our minds in ways that other films which have attempted to replicate with similar material, have yet to achieve. For years movie goers have witnessed the world of mental illness and its horrors from an outside perspective, much like visitors to a zoo, observing life in captivity from the other side of the cage. With faithful attention to detail and a respectful compassion for a world not yet understood in its unending complexities director Ron Howard draws the audience into a world of mystery, deception and intrigue, far removing us from our comfort zones. Then, as suddenly as it all began, the rug is ripped out from under our feet, forcing us to accept the fact that a world into which we have been drawn is not always a world that others can see.
This is the basic technique of filmmaking which Ron Howard skillfully exploits throughout the film to powerfully illustrate the emotional and psychological impact of John F. Nash's schizophrenia, a mental illness that is often characterized by disturbing delusions, hallucinations and bizarre thought patterns. As one who has suffered from mental illness for nearly thirty years I personally recommend this film not merely for its intellectual and artistic delivery of the subject matter but primarily for its overall sensitivity to an issue that has remained a subject of personal controversy in many circles of conversation, even in a century revolutionized by constant scientific discoveries and the evolutionary restructuring of psychiatric treatment.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2003
Beautiful Mind (2001), starring Russel Crowe and Jennifer Conneley, is a decent movie. It's well acted and well directed by Ron Howard. It's largely based on the biography of the same title by Sylvia Nassar (1998). However, in order to "Hollywood-ize" the story, a great deal of detail and "reality" were dropped.
My main beef with the movie is that it's depiction of schizophrenia is ludicrous...basically, the entire disease is trivialized as visual hallucinations. Even the movie's ending makes no sense where John Nash is depicted as still suffering from seeing imaginary people. Anyone who knows the true story knows that Nash today, if not entirely cured, doesn't see imaginary people and never did!
For the true story, and all the messy details that come with real-life, read the book instead.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2002
First off, I have to admit that I wasn't originally excited to see a movie that runs for over 2 hours about a mathematician. I guess I just wasn't in the mood. But after seeing the movie, I was so glad I did!. What a movie!. What performances!. It was easily my favorite movie I had seen this past year. Okay, on with the movie. Russell Crowe plays John Forbes Nash Jr., a brilliant mathematician who first began at Princeton University, where he created an incredible economic theory. This got him a MIT professorship as well. But then came a horrible down side. Nash was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The disease made Nash become delusional. Through all this, he did win the Nobel Prize too. The delusion part of Nash's life is what Howard really goes for here in the film. He really gives you a look at the disease and of any mental health problems that hasn't really been done before on the big screen. He did it perfectly with no flaws at all. Mr. Crowe. What can I say?. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of his, but I do respect his work and think he is one of our greatest actors we have working today. He is tremendous. You have never really seen a performance like this before. If you say you have and that it's cliched, as I know some of you out there have, you just didn't get it. Crowe's performance is downright astonishing. Your not watching Crowe. You are watching John Nash. If he doesn't win the Oscar for this, well, then there is no need for the academy to go on. He deserves it for this. He really didn't for "Gladiator". And then there is the lovely and brilliant Jennifer Connelly. She holds her own up against Crowe, and that is no easy task. It only shows you how remarkable she is. I never would have suspected her to be in this kind of acclaim when I saw her in her ealier career(Labryinth, Seven Minutes In Heaven, The Rocketeer, Suspiria). She really is worthy of all the attention. The supporting actors are all great. Christopher Plummer, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, and even Judd Hirsch. The music by James Horner is perfect for this film. Many people bash it as 'sappy' and 'cliched'. Oh please. This movie is great filmmaking. The acting is the best that we could possibly hope for. Anybody who doesn't see that, or has to ridicule because it left out some elements from the book, need to relax. Get over it. What it all comes down too people, is that this is a love story. Alicia Nash stayed with John through all of the hell. Today, they are in their 70's, and they are still very much together. Nothing is more powerful than that. How wonderful. A Beautiful Mind is a beautiful movie. It rekindles your faith in filmmaking. Come Oscar time, if there aren't any gold statues with this film's title on them, it will be a huge upset. Go see this movie. You will fell better afterwards knowing that you did. What a treat. Thank you Ron Howard.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2002
"A Beautiful Mind" is definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen. I saw it first with my husband and was so mesmerized that I went to see it again with my 12 year old daughter. We all thought it was superb! I was then curious by the story of John Nash so I bought the book. Still not satisfied, I rented other Russell Crowe films to see just how this man evolved as an actor. He has made many terrific films with very diverse roles, but this is by far the best in my opinion - he "aced" this character. I definitely give the power of the movie to the acting of Crowe. I honestly forgot I was watching an actor on screen - he was that believable. Ron Howard did a great job portraying the film through the mind of Nash. I had such emotion built up inside of me for the struggles of John Nash that I felt emotionally "spent" after the movie. Jennifer Conley was terrific and had great chemistry with Crowe as husband and wife - a very believable couple. The supporting cast did everything right. My advise - SEE THIS MOVIE - more than once! Buy the book for some insights on Nash - it's fascinating. The movie does leave some facts about Nash out of the plot, but I understand why - it would complicate the complex story of schizophrenia even more. Bravo to A Beautiful Mind and a beautiful portrayal of John Nash by Russell Crowe! Good job mate! I'll be cheering for you on Oscar night.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
As I usually try to do, I read the book prior to seeing the movie. The book was much clearer than the movie but I thought the movie was very well done.
The movie is about the Nobel Prize winner in economics, John Nash. It stars Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe, John Nash is a Princeton student when he develps Schizophrenia. The movie is very accurate in its portrayal of delusions and hallucinations, though it was sometimes confusing - especially the part about whether his roommate really exists.
Both Crowe and Connelly do excellent jobs. The movie goes light on Nash's bi-sexuality, does not go into his having a deadbeat dad, and ignores his relationship with Eleanor Stier. Other than these things, it is pretty true to the book.
Nash does have a beautiful mind. Once he starts losing his mind due to the tragedy of schizophrenia, it is heartwarming to see that he maintains the respect of his Princeton colleagues and students. I applaud this movie for raising peoples' consciousness about schizophrenia.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone who enjoys drama and is interested in mental illness and resilience.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2002
"A Beautiful Mind" (2001)
It is hard to make a movie about mathematics interesting. I mean, I can barely sit through a math class without getting bored out of my skin. This movie is about mathematics and numbers, and it has a man I've never heard of in the lead character. A Beautiful Mind really had nothing going for it. But this movie surprised me a lot. I was thrilled to find out this was one brilliant film, and one that is surely going to knock the critics' socks off.
I wasn't that interested in the film at the beginning. But as I discovered as the film went on, this is one of those movies where the boring start is essential so the movie makes sense at the end. When I watch it next time I'll remember to look closer in the first few scenes. I think this'll be one of those films where you notice something different each time.
This is one of the few examples of performances driving an entire film. Russell Crowe is the head and shoulders of this film and his performance is indescribable. I can't exactly find the right word to pinpoint how brilliant he was in this film. All I can say is that he became John Nash, and delivered a career-best, and by far one of the best leading male performances of the last 20 years or more. Jennifer Connelly is superior to all the supporting actresses of 2001 and will get applause in bucketloads. It's about time she did too, the actress has been around for a few years and has never seemed to get that much recognition for her work. Ed Harris is also good, and his plot twists are shocking. Christopher Plummer is the wise-old-man of the movie (for a little while anyway) and provides much subtlety to the heart of the film. As do Connelly and Crowe, who have one of those rare chemistries and sparks on screen...it was wonderful to see them act together.
The direction by Ron Howard was incredible. As I was saying before, it is extremely hard to make an interesting film about a boring mathematician, but under Howard's impeccable direction and outstanding effort, the movie works on many different levels. As it turned out, this movie is not just about a mathematician and his numbers, its about hallucinations, schizophrenia, friends, socialising, and love overcoming all of these obstacles.
To write a screenplay that includes all of these things and does it in a beautiful way, ask no other man but Akiva Goldsman. He used to write silly drivel of films but the man is turning into a potential genius of the writing industry! He adapts this engrossing material with enthusiasm for making his characters 3-dimensional and I learnt a lot about the world in general in general from this film, its messages came across loud and clear, and with style. And all this is coming from the guy who wrote Practical Magic, Lost in Space and Batman & Robin. Whew! Really shows you how a guy can improve his writing skills, huh?
The score and music for the film is deeply affecting to the film's atmosphere. The score is very reminiscent of Titanic, with the same sadness, the same great use of a choir, and the same rightly chosen instruments to display the film's messages and morals. The song "All Love Can Be" was very touching. James Horner is the man!
This movie will hopefully be nominated, and maybe even win, a few Oscars this year. All I know is it deserves it as it by far the best overall drama I've seen in 2001. Amazing performances, incredible writing, great direction, awesome music, stunning makeup effects (wow, Russell Crowe looks 50 years older!), neat camera tricks, good sounds and moods...all of this combined make this an inspirational piece for people who like films, and more importantly, love, and life.
MY GRADE: A+