A Beautiful Mind Reviews
The first time I watched A Beautiful Mind I was blown away by it. Not only did I think all of the actors did a tremendous job sinking their teeth into each role, but I couldn't believe how fascinating John Nash's life was. This is a man was a student at Princeton and made significant contributions to the world of mathematics and economics (including proposing several theories and equations), all while being diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.
Russell Crowe gives one of his best performances as John Nash, in what also may be his most challenging. Crowe has to make it believable that he's both one of the brightest minds in the world but also someone who is seriously struggling with mental illness. He has great chemistry with his love interest, Alicia Nash, played by Jennifer Connelly. In fact, I think this film is a better romance than it is a biopic. Connelly, who won an Oscar for playing Alicia, is a revelation here. She had impressed in previous films, but there's something about her balancing the sweetness of Alicia's personality with her turmoil filled personal life.
I think the main issue with A Beautiful Mind is its pace. At 138 minutes, it's right about at the length of your usual bio-drama, but it doesn't feel like it. The film moves at a really slow pace, especially before we realize what Nash is going through mentally. Part of the reason for this is that I found it hard to approach the complexities of his work. The story is interesting, but I can't say I knew exactly what was going on half the time. If the film would have found a way to make all the equations and theories dumbed down for the general audience, the film would have felt much smoother.
Overall, the film is well done. I love James Horner's score, Roger Deakin's cinematography is beautiful, as is the romance between Connelly and Crowe, but I think it lacks in re-watchability and pacing.
-But difficult to follow at times