A Beautiful Mind (2001), Cert 12.

Director - Ron Howard.

Writer - Akiva Goldsman.

Starring - Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer & Paul Bettany.


Premise - The life and times of Nobel prize winning, schizophrenic, genius mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe).

Whilst A Beautiful Mind is a good film, to call it the best film of last year (as the Academy felt the need to do) is a bit of a stretch.

The film was always only going to be as good as the performance by the lead actor. Lucky for Ron then that Russell Crowe gives an outstanding performance. I haven't yet seen Training Day, but I get the feeling that Crowe's BAFTA bust up had more than a little to do with his Oscar loss. Having seen footage of the real John Nash, Crowe nails it. All the ticks, all the speech patterns, it's a dead on performance.

Jennifer Connelly (Who did win an Oscar) also puts in a sterling piece of work. She is fast becoming one of the finest actresses currently doing the rounds and this powerful performance should ensure (for the time being at least) that she gets the pick of the prime female parts.

A Beautiful Mind is very much an actors film and the support also put in excellent work. Paul Bettany whom I last saw as a psycho Cockney in Gangster No.1 turns that part on it's head and brilliantly plays a mellow level minded friend for Nash. Ed Harris is suitably mysterious as a man in black and Cristopher Plummer is delightful as a psychiatrist.

Also popping up are two of the nerds (Adam Goldberg & Anthony Rapp) from 'Dazed And Confused'. Strange that I haven't seen them in much at all over the years and then they both pop up in the same film and share many scenes together.

As I said this film is for the most part an actors film. Whilst Ron Howard is a competent director his work here is functionary with nothing really to write home about. Perhaps the academy felt he had done enough previously to deserve the accolade this time round. Whatever the reason, think about this and see if you can sleep at night. Ron Howard has an academy award for directing, but Martin Scorsese doesn't. Scary stuff.

One of my main problems with A Beautiful Mind is the 'Hollwoodisation' of the life of John Nash. It's as if the scriptwriter thought that the real life of Nash wouldn't appeal to the public, so he was selective with the events that he would include in the final script.

I did a bit of digging and discovered that some of the events dropped form the film include allegations of bisexuality, a child born out of wedlock and a divorce. Of course events like these would sour an otherwise perfect story of a man triumphing against all odds. Why tell the whole story when we can be selective with the facts and have a nice little happy ending?

So a good film that has it's heart in the right place, but is ultimately covering up the real story. Excellent performances from all prevent this one from being just another sickly sweet movie of the week, but it's close.


5/10 for A Beautiful Mind.

Poster Quote - Fellowship Of The Ring was ROBBED!!!!!!