A Beautiful Mind (2001)

DailyView: Day 365, Movie 523

A Beautiful Mind, an Oscar winning Best Picture from director Ron Howard, turns out to be the final film in the 365-day DailyView.

This film is a biopic of mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe), who started his rise to relevance at Princeton arrogant and socially awkward. Even his peer group found some of his behavior off-putting. John struggled to find his “original idea”, but, after a confrontation with his roommate Charles (Paul Bettany) and a specific occurrence at a bar with some women, a spark came to him.

With his success beginning, he met and married his sweetheart Alicia (Jennifer Connelly) and he was approached by government agent Parcher (Ed Harris) to become a code breaker. Everything seemed to be going great.

However, things changed when he started to become paranoid about Russian spies and his mental status is called into question. Turned out, John had schizophrenia and he was having delusions, imagining people who were not really there, including Parcher and Charles.

I will say that the first 45 minutes to an hour of this movie, I was checked out, preparing myself to give this an “Overrated” score for the review. I found the beginning pretty boring and I was not invested in what was happening.

However, when the whole schizophrenia plot point started to come into play full steam, I was much more interested and intrigued by what was happening. I actually would have liked to have seen more of that section of the movie. I would have liked to have seen more of his struggles when he decided to try and overcome the schizophrenia on his own. That part of the film seemed compressed down to a scene or two (albeit a very solid scene).

Russell Crowe played his role beautifully, even in the sections of the film that I found dull, Crowe was always outstanding. Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany both were excellent in the film too. Paul Bettany’s character always brought a breath of fresh air, particularly in that beginning part of the film that dragged for me. I loved Bettany’s inclusion in that part and I looked forward to when he was on screen.

A Beautiful Mind won the Oscar for Best Picture (although I wouldn’t have given it this film – Moulin Rouge or Lord of the Rings were better choices) and it took home four total statues, including Ron Howard’s best director. I found A Beautiful Mind to be messy at times and not a consistently great movie, but the individual parts of the film make it to be a decent watch.

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