A Beautiful Mind (2001) (PG-13)

















I'll confess something—I have seen "A Beautiful Mind" the most of probably any other movie. It seems to be the movie when undecided party members gather together and unsureness sets it, that you can know without fail will entertain, confuse, and move. Ron Howard's masterpiece overtook the second installment of the "Lord of the Rings" franchise at the Academy Awards and took home four Oscars, including Best Director and Best Supporting Actress and it's no wonder why.
"A Beautiful Mind" follows the real life story of John Nash, the Nobel winning mathematician and economist.
John is a peculiar fellow, best described as "socially incompetent". Because his brain works much better than his mouth does, he still finds himself in awkward situations on many occasions.
He devotes his college time to coming up with a truly "original idea" that would change the world. This becomes an obsession with him, one that he can't let go of.
John Nash is an egotistical man, his pride is one of his most forward characteristics.
Once he's graduated and working as a professor at MIT, he meets Alicia, who is one of his students.
She sweeps him off his feet and embraces the oddities and peculiarities of the man.
Then they get married and have a baby and things really start to go south for John.
While he was at MIT, John was helping the government out with extrapolating and deciphering codes that were received from enemies. Keep in mind that the time frame is right around 1948, WWII has just ended and people are still not that favorable towards Germany, Japan, or even our ally, Russia.
J. Edgar Hoover has America in a frenzy over Communism and every trasmission received or intercepted from enemy territory has to be scrutinized.
But the man who's overlooking John's work as a decoder, Parcher, demands total compliance. He doesn't agree with John marrying or having children, it just leaves loose ends.
Parcher is a merciless man, he will do anything to get his way, including threatening to give John's name to the Russians, whose transmissions John has been decoding.
John is sent into a world of confusion and paranoia and he drags Alicia down with him. The ending of "A Beautiful Mind" leaves you stunned and unwilling to believe.
Russell Crowe is astonishing as John Nash, a performance that was lauded and then forgotten. He delves into the complexity of this character so well that it's hard to remember that only one year before "A Beautiful Mind" the same man would receive his Oscar for Maximus in "Gladiator".
But you cannot have this movie without mentioning Jennifer Connelly as Alicia. She has to match Crowe's energy but in a different way, and she does. She earned herself a well-deserved Oscar for her performance.
Ed Harris and Christopher Plummer also give good supporting performances in pivotal roles.
"A Beautiful Mind" is a movie that will never age. Ron Howard really pulled one of the hat with this movie. It's stunning and complex, a movie that you cannot even describe in words.

Score: 4 out of 4 stars

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