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Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2018
If you want to understand a loved one's brain illness, this movie will show you what it is like. Of course it becomes confusing, because the movie portrays John Nash's hallucinations as real as they were to him. Family & loved ones of anyone who experiences visual hallucinations or auditory hallucinations need to watch this true story. To actually understand someone with a brain/mental illness, you have to walk in their shoes. This movie does that for the viewer.
Recommended to me by a close friend. The movie is sad, yet some how impowering. The story sheds light on mental illness, a particularly misunderstood, and widely stigmatized area of mental illness. A true story of determination, genius, guts, love, and schizophrenia. We still to this day know only limited information on this particular disease, yet if you ask anyone they will most likely have a distorted and uneducated opinion on what it means to suffer from schizophrenia and can describe an unclear and hazy image of a person and what they might look like and be like, even what their life might be like with the illness. The movie uses the effects of the illness in a genius way to help us understand who the main character is and what he goes through everyday. I enjoyed the movie, and was intrigued by the life of this mathematical genius. Perhaps our world would be much different if he wasn't schizophrenic, if he wasn't a math genius, if his life wasn't his life. I found myself wanting to know more about this person, the disease, and why we still know so little about it. I loved that at the end of the movie, I was left with the thought that no matter what you go through, it's really how you deal with it that can be either very sad and depressing or uplifting, motivating, even impowering. We all have a choice on how we deal with things that happen to us, and this movie is an interesting example of what it looks like to want something, to be something that consumes your thoughts your life to the point that even something as serious as schizophrenia might change how your mind sees that something and what the path looks like to achieve it, but wont derail you, because you refuse to let it... and what if that path is actually a better one, a clearer one?
A Beautiful Mind is the real life story of a genius mathematician. Ron Howard directs with a tender understanding of this man's fragile mental state. We see the brilliant mind of John Nash reduced over time with paranoia.
Howard crafts the sincere beginnings of a hopeful mathematician to the paranoid struggle of a broken man. A Beautiful Mind builds empathy for Nash with Roger Deakins' gorgeous shots and James Horner's haunting score. The somber notes swell from lovely to lonely moods.
Russell Crowe is inspired as John Nash. He plays the character with such sympathy and nuance. You feel for Nash and his plight because of how realistically genuine Crow portrays Nash.
Furthermore, Jennifer Connelly is incredible as Nash's wife. She suffers just as much as he does, but in a different way. Connelly's capability to demonstrate a working wife struggling to provide for her family at odds is something to behold.
Similarly, Ed Harris and Paul Bettany play fascinating supporting roles. You watch their characters take on a whole new meaning by the end. The way that Harris and Bettany play these roles is shocking and entertaining to the last frame with them.
Lastly, I love Christopher Plummer's smaller cameo role as the Dr. Rosen. He is empathetic and intriguing in his performance. We get to see Plummer dive into how to speak to someone troubled with a level of respect and understanding.
Overall, I think most audiences will love A Beautiful Mind. Every since it was released in 2001, I have had this movie burned into my mind. It is memorable evermore.
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019
Because he was a genius people overlooked so many things. While so many who suffer schizophrenia are found intolerable. Even by their own parents. And are thus outcast. Left to their delusions for lack of other relational stimuli. Until delusions take over.
I am a borderline schizophrenic sociopath. I find my delusions are tempered, as this mans were, by interacting with people. Yet I have so few relationships. Because people do not offer me the long suffering they did this man. After I freak out before them they disappear. Leaving me only to God to keep paranoia from sending me into psychosis.
I've found, though I've been kicked out or houses, churches, the college I graduated from, ect, ect....I've found that running adds on CL to buy stuff gives me interactions to spare with people who can always be replaced after I piss them off. Many of whom I do. Being a contractor who works cheap helps too.
But if a schizophrenic person can't be useful enough for people to overlook their many offenses they are almost certainly doomed to isolation until the hallucinations are all they have.
The saddest thing about this movie is this man was not outcast to the dregs of society because he was genius. While so many who are not geniuses are cast out. Left only to paranoid delusions for company.
Easily makes my Top 10 movies of all time. I was fortunate to have also read
the book version as well.
What fascinates me both in the movie and in real life, is how genius is often juxtaposed with greatness. With John Nash, it's brought to extreme. But you can see hints of that craziness in people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.
Portrayed by Russell Crowe, I was haunted for many years by his portrayal of a man who had fallen so far down into the abyss of insanity...who then somehow harnessed his genius to ignore the insane part of himself and go on to live a successful, quasi normal life. It inspired me to break out of some my own hang-ups to go on do and experience things I'd never previously dreamed I could be involved with, both in the business world and in my family.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Beautiful Movie..........on so many levels.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2016
There are not all that many reviews of less than 5 stars about this one. The "Amazon review" suggests that this portrayal of a schizophrenic mind lacks accuracy and believability. Well. I very much doubt that said reviewer actually suffers from schizophrenia whereas I was diagnosed with it almost 22 years ago, and for those of you that are unaware, it is in almost every case chronic, i.e. incurable, i.e. lifelong. So I continue to be medicated to this day.
Something else the reviewer might not have is a high level of intellect as is often the case too with schizophrenics, as the highly analytical mind contributes to it. John Nash was a Nobel Prize winning mathematician, I merely studied chemistry at Oxford University, so whilst not nearly in his league I possess some degree of brainpower myself.
The delusions for a start are based in truth, so for the esteemed reviewer to trash the style of the presentation, well I'm not too sure where the expertise to say that has come from. When I had my first "psychotic episode" in 1994, when I, my family and friends, work colleagues (I was also doing a pressurised and demanding job in both stress level and long hours) and medical helpers all hoped it was a one-off (the "label" changes to schizophrenia once it keeps recurring), I also had hallucinations, delusions, altered perception of reality.........in other words a created and false reality. John Nash's perceived reality is not stretched or unique at all. When he jokes about his "saviour complex", often called a "messiah complex" (a term cleverly and hilariously utilised by Russell Brand), indeed there are many delusional schizophrenics that are consumed in that particular delusion very commonly. I would assert that if Jesus Christ (yes I know he was a normal guy just bear with me) came a second time - a joke for Christians - he would be locked up as well as his ideas would be indistinguishable from all the other messiahs. Perhaps he has already been, and lived and died without recognition? Maybe a number of times!
Delusions can be like that or perhaps involving extra-terrestrials, waking nightmares where the subconscious mind invades the conscious mind with ideas from anywhere. Things one has read about, seen in horror movies. Paranoia, as Nash displays all the time - one of the very worst phases is when one begins to be treated by mental health professionals - you don't know who they are, or where you are or what's in store. I was "sectioned", so like Nash, locked up. You fear for your life, or worse. Highly paranoid. It's absolutely terrifying.
The other thing that happens, as in the movie, is that once you start to take your medication, and of course that takes some while due to the huge distrust of the whole environment, if it begins to work and the mind settles, you don't understand that the drugs have achieved that, so you stop taking them because you are getting better, back towards normality. So you relapse. Very common indeed.
So the film is highly realistic, take it from someone that's been there and around others that have been there. As well as the fact that Nash went through this stuff, for real (unreal).
I agree with the reviewer that says that Russell Crowe should have won the Oscar that Denzel Washington got. I am a big fan of Denzel and of Training Day but this performance is just streets ahead. And when you put this performance against the one Crowe was recognised for, in Gladiator, you've got an actor that can pretty much do anything. His arrogant claim to be the best actor in the world might well be a fair appraisal, if not the best of all then in the company of Pacino, Washington, De Niro, DiCaprio, Hoffman (that's Dustin and not Philip Seymour), underrated giant Gene Hackman and such.
I have watched this today for the second time, I saw more, laughed more and certainly cried more than the first. To see someone fall from a great height from high achiever to pure madness (the reactions of the people around him and their horror and disbelief that a man so clever suddenly can make no sense of anything) is heartbreaking to anyone, just imagine having been through it it's like a petrifying gaze into some cosmic mirror.
And then to see how he was able to regain control, to recognise the love of his unfaltering wife and her belief in him, to keep the demons at bay, and to rise to accept the Nobel Prize after going through such horrific and alienating experiences, is indeed beautiful. I think that in the last quarter of an hour of the film (especially the "pens" scene), my tears were an uncontrollable flood. A similar feeling to the last scene of It's A Wonderful Life but a hundred times more because of the life that I lead and have led.
Simply one of the greatest films I have ever had the privilege to see. I hope not too many people have had to look into that cosmic mirror when watching it, though it has much more power if you have.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent portrayal of mental health issues
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2017
Absolutely brilliant, a truly inspired true account of a troubled mind and the consequences for himself and his family. It shows what it's like to live in a world that no-one else can see, touch, or believe in. How can you get across to 'them' on the outside of your world that what you are experiencing is REAL, that is, real to you anyway. I thought this was a wonderful way to not only explore the world of mental health issues, but to SHOW other people what it looks like and feels like to those experiencing it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2017
I think this may be Russell Crowe's standout performance. Forget Gladiator, this actually showed that he could act.
I love this film, perhaps because I can relate to the main character a little more than I really should be able too.
This is a fantastic film about one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. The kind of people films should be made about. The recent film 'The Man Who Knew Infinity' is very similar, and also a thing of beauty.
A Beautiful Mind is a powerful yet touching movie, that allows you a glimpse into the broken mind of a genius.
This is definitely a film that you can watch again and again and get something new from it every time.
Know this film very well and use if frequently as part of a Schizophrenia module in A level psychology - it depicts schizophrenia an a way which raises understanding and treats it seriously rather than parodying the symptoms. In my view the main performances (Crowe, Connelly and Harris) are outstanding and the story is well paced, I also like the way it requires attention to what is going on on screen. It's however a film and some of the criticisms about it being a sanitised version of John Nash's life may well be justified, but that does not detract from the overall achievement of a watchable film which clarifies some of the issues with the condition, as well as mapping the life of an influential mathematician.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2019
I kept missing this film and I am really glad I made a point of buying it on DVD. I really enjoyed it and Russell Crowe is great - as ever. What a pity that the mathematician does not seem to have been as sympathetic in real life, although I suppose it would have ruined the story's "Ah factor" if the marriage ended much earlier in divorce....as it really did. Still, watched as partly fiction, it was an enjoyable experience which I would recommend.