A Beautiful Mind (2001)

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Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Christopher Plummer, Judd Hirsch


Professor John Nash, graduate of Princeton University, is adept at seeing the hidden patterns of ciphers and is called upon by the Pentagon for codebreaking; unhappily he is also a schizophrenic, a factor which becomes ever more apparent when he marries and his inner world collapses with his actual life.

The Review

Hollywood, ever skilled at projecting an individual point of view with absolute persuasion, succeeds particularly well at turning a conspiracy conundrum into paranoid fantasy and taking the audience along with it. Thus, when the hero's illness is revealed to its fullest and unsuspected extent, we empathize totally with the hapless patient and regret the passing of characters who never really existed. The Nobel prize acceptance speech takes some swallowing but here is an outstanding performance and direction as polished as it is at times pedantic.