A Beautiful Mind Reviews
The watching this film for the first time, it feels like three completely different films throughout its three act structure. The first act feels more like it's going to be a movie in the same vein as Good Will Hunting, only to become a much more thrilling film, dealing with a nuclear bomb investigation throughout its second, eventually throwing the audience through a loop, making them wonder if anything they had just seen really happened at all. Once you've seen A Beautiful Mind, the surprises won't ever be there again, but the emotion is still very much present and worth watching over and over again. Russell Crowe is a revelation throughout this movie, plain and simple.
Plain and simple, this film wouldn't have worked as well without a performance as devoted as Russell Crowe's. His mannerisms and the way he's able to fall in love with Alicia (Jennifer Connelly), is truly what transcends the film, making it as emotional as it is when the final act begins. His performances sucks you in from the very beginning and never lets you go, having you feel completely invested in this real-life character that had gone and still continues to go through this until the day the film was released. Across the board, this film is so well-acted, that it would've even been effective with a terrible screenplay, but that's just not the case at all.
When it comes to screenwriting, it's very hard to make even the most realistic dialogue naturally flow as if you're watching something unfold in reality, but this is one of the few films that will always remain in my memory as a movie with a perfect screenplay. From the moments that need you to feel for each character in order to hold your interest, to the subtle moments that talk about love in great detail, to the seemingly overdone scientific subplots, once all is revealed in this film, everything falls into place perfectly, leaving nothing else to be desired, at least for myself.
From performances, to superb direction by Ron Howard, to a script that will have those invested in tears, to a score that pulled me right into every moment, A Beautiful Mind won all of those awards for a reason. Looking back on this movie, nothing stands out as dated, even though it's only about 16 years old. If you've yet to view this film, I can't recommend it enough, especially to those who are fans of the dramatic side of filmmaking. I whole-heartedly love this movie for all of these reasons and then some. It's stylistic editing choices and use of on-set effects help this film feel even more authentic than it's script would've already allowed it to, so I have nothing to complain about in retrospect. This is a beautiful movie.
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