A Beautiful Mind

( 54 )

Overview

The true story of prominent mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. is the subject of this biographical drama from director Ron Howard. Russell Crowe stars as the brilliant but arrogant and conceited professor Nash. The prof seems guaranteed a rosy future in the early '50s after he marries beautiful student Alicia Jennifer Connelly and makes a remarkable advancement in the foundations of "game theory," which carries him to the brink of international acclaim. Soon after, John is visited by Agent William Parcher Ed ...
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Overview

The true story of prominent mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. is the subject of this biographical drama from director Ron Howard. Russell Crowe stars as the brilliant but arrogant and conceited professor Nash. The prof seems guaranteed a rosy future in the early '50s after he marries beautiful student Alicia Jennifer Connelly and makes a remarkable advancement in the foundations of "game theory," which carries him to the brink of international acclaim. Soon after, John is visited by Agent William Parcher Ed Harris, from the CIA, who wants to recruit him for code-breaking activities. But evidence suggests that Nash's perceptions of reality are cloudy at best; he is struggling to maintain his tenuous hold on sanity, and Alicia suspects a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Battling decades of illness with the loyal Alicia by his side, Nash is ultimately able to gain some control over his mental state, and eventually goes on to triumphantly win the Nobel Prize. Based loosely on the book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind 2001 co-stars Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Anthony Rapp, Christopher Plummer, and Judd Hirsch.
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Special Features

Feature commentary with director Ron Howard; Feature commentary with screenwriter Akiva Goldsman; Deleted scenes with director's commentary; Production notes; Cast and filmmakers
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Based on Sylvia Nasar’s bestselling biography of John Forbes Nash Jr., the MIT mathematician who successfully conquered mental illness and went on to win a Nobel Prize, A Beautiful Mind is a gripping melodrama with a whopper of a Sixth Sense-style twist. We first meet Nash, played by Russell Crowe, in 1947, when he is still a brilliant but highly eccentric and socially awkward mathematics student at Princeton. His remarkable work on game theory eventually lands him a position at MIT, where he meets both his wife, Alicia Jennifer Connelly, and a sinister CIA agent Ed Harris who recruits him as a code breaker for the Defense Department. Director Ron Howard, who employs some clever narrative devices that allow the audience to see the world from Nash’s perspective, shows how Cold War paranoia feeds and shapes his developing schizophrenia. The depiction of Nash’s battle to banish his voices -- not through debilitating drugs but by simply refusing to listen to them -- poignantly conveys the sadness and isolation of mental illness. Crowe is as compelling as ever, but it is Connelly who is the real revelation here. Her Oscar-winning turn as the gorgeous young wife who stands by Nash through it all, weathering violent episodes and medication-induced impotence, is touching and impressively grounded. The truth of Nash’s life is, at least as revealed in Nasar's book, less tidy than what we see on screen. Howard and Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman excised all sorts of unsavory details, and the result is Hollywood myth making at its most unabashed complete with a heavy-handed score that telegraphs every emotion. Yet, there is no denying the emotional and inspirational power that earned A Beautiful Mind Oscars for both Best Picture and Best Director: It is an inspiring portrait of a gifted man, an extraordinary woman, and a remarkable triumph.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A skillful adaptation of a real-life story by director Ron Howard, who matures beyond the facile emotions and obviousness inherent to most of his previous work, embracing a new level of maturity that is a welcome compliment to his clear, if workmanlike visual style. Howard has always been a reliable film craftsman, efficiently translating words into pictures even if his compositions have remained more functional than creative. It's a curse endemic to those who made their bones in television, including Howard's contemporaries Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall. Despite two successful decades on the A-list, they have few major-league peers with such a lack of distinguishable artistic signatures. Without skipping a beat, Howard has moved effortlessly from the rapid-fire compactness of Apollo 13 (1995) to the bloated, sugary, over-the-top razzle-dazzle of the almost unforgivably heinous How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). So equated is he with a glossy, marketable broadness that the sheer elegance and subtlety of his approach to this largely internal story is astonishing. It's a quantum leap forward that would be comparable to the achievement of Steven Spielberg with Schindler's List (1995), if not for the difference in emotional, physical, and historical scale. Always a demanding, exacting actor, Russell Crowe continues a winning streak by delivering the latest in a series of knockout performances, adroitly handled by a director who seems simpatico with his every choice. The film's structural gimmick turns in on itself halfway through, challenging the viewer to observe every previous and subsequent event through the eyes of paranoia, a brilliant twist that works beautifully, even better so because it is never hammered indelicately home by the filmmaker. A Beautiful Mind (2001) is a serious, fully realized story gracefully handled by Howard, proving that an artist never stops evolving no matter how accomplished his resumé.
Entertainment Weekly
Russell Crowe sometimes summons up one of the most powerful depictions of mental illness I have ever seen with barely an eyelid flicker separating manifestations of sickness from utterly sane displays of creative concentration. Lisa Schwarzbaum
Village Voice
The movie illustrates with poignant (if reductive) clarity the awful no-exit paradox of a paranoid delusion -- that its most incapacitating aspect is its terrifying realness. Dennis Lim
New York Post
1/2
Terrific, surprisingly gripping true-life tale of a math genius battling madness. Jonathan Foreman
USA Today
1/2
Among the most affecting ever made about co-existing with mental demons. Mike Clark

Russell Crowe sometimes summons up one of the most powerful depictions of mental illness I have ever seen with barely an eyelid flicker separating manifestations of sickness from utterly sane displays of creative concentration. Lisa Schwarzbaum
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/22/2006
  • UPC: 025193026521
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 2:16:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 7,551

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Russell Crowe John Forbes Nash, Jr.
Jennifer Connelly Alicia Nash
Ed Harris William Parcher
Paul Bettany Charles Herman
Adam Goldberg Sol
Judd Hirsch Helinger
Josh Lucas Hansen
Anthony Rapp Bender
Christopher Plummer Dr. Rosen
Austin Pendleton Thomas King
Jason Gray-Stanford Ainsley
Vivien Cardone Marcee
Technical Credits
Ron Howard Director, Producer
Allan Byer Sound/Sound Designer
Greg Cannom Makeup Special Effects
Roger Deakins Cinematographer
Akiva Goldsman Screenwriter
Brian Grazer Producer
Robert Guerra Art Director
Todd Hallowell Executive Producer
Daniel Hanley Editor
Mike Hill Editor
Janet Hirshenson Casting
James Horner Score Composer
Jane Jenkins Casting
Karen Kehela Executive Producer
Kathleen McGill Associate Producer
Maureen Peyrot Co-producer
Aldric La'Auli Porter Associate Producer, Asst. Director
Leslie Rollins Set Decoration/Design
Rita Ryack Costumes/Costume Designer
Wynn P. Thomas Production Designer
Louisa Velis Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Beautiful Mind
1. Main Titles [1:23]
2. Mathematicians [7:37]
3. A Challenge [2:23]
4. The Need to Focus [7:34]
5. Governing Dynamics [5:50]
6. The Pentagon [5:16]
7. Teacher and Student [2:12]
8. Code Breaker [5:19]
9. Alicia [11:19]
10. The Prodigal Roommate [2:32]
11. A Wedding [3:20]
12. Trouble [7:49]
13. Dr. Rosen [6:39]
14. Mental Illness [2:22]
15. Treatment [6:24]
16. Delusions [11:52]
17. Princeton [15:34]
18. Goodbye, Old Friend [5:47]
19. A Nobel Prize [8:42]
20. End Titles [8:30]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- A Beautiful Mind
   Scenes
   Bonus Materials
      Feature Commentary with Director Ron Howard
      Feature Commentary With Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman
      Deleted Scenes
         Play Scenes With Director's Commentary: On/Off
      Production Notes
      Cast and Filmmakers
         Russell Crowe - John Forbes Nash, Jr.
         Ed Harris - William Parcher
         Jennifer Connelly - Alicia Nash
         Paul Bettany - Charles Herman
         Adam Goldberg - Richard Sol
         Judd Hirsch - Professor Helinger
         Christopher Plummer - Dr. Rosen
         Produced by Brian Grazer
         Written by Akiva Goldsman
         Directed by Ron Howard
      DVD-ROM Features
   Languages
      Spoken Language
         English 5.1 Dolby Digital
         Français 5.1 Dolby Digital
         Feature Commentary With Director Ron Howard
         Feature Commentary With Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman
      Captions & Subtitles
         Captions for the Hearing Impaired: English
         Subtitles: Español
         Subtitles: None
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a beautiful misconception, but that's life

    I am not too fond of this movie, nor people's reactions to it. Some say schizophrenia is strictly caused by failure of brain chemistry (or neurological wiring) and I can tell you from personal experience that this is true, but not universally applicable. On the flip side, a lot of people react to the sentimentality of the film, because Nash was able to manage himself amidst his burden. I applaud him for doing this (especially without medication), but the film makes it look like he can cope with it much like folks outside the schizophrenic experience deal with emotional issues that nag them day to day. (May I state that I do not consider any emotional hardship light. I only suggest that dealing with schizophrenia is very different than non-schizophrenics typically wish it to be.) I am glad that this movie drew some attention, but I feel there are better movies and books about the illness. Whether the victim fails or succeeds in dealing with his experience, a good portrayal is only good if it manages to capture the co-mingling of horror, alienation, and confusion (among other things). Beautiful Mind does this to some extent, but not enough to satisfy me. It has too many misconceptions. That being said, I would still recommend this movie to anyone who wants an initial glance into schizophrenia -as long as they are instructed adequately as to what is Hollywood and what is closer to the real deal. If you are interested in checking out more stuff, look for the attributes I cited. Never shy from those which end tragically, and be skeptical of positive endings. A not-too-good of a resolution is typically the best you're going to get in real life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A Masterpiece

    An incredible film that is suspenseful, thought provoking, and emotionally gripping. A true classic and a staple of any DVD collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Still good after several viewings

    I still think this is the best look at the mind of a schizophrenic. Yes, it comes wrapped in a handsome Russell Crowe/Jennifer Connelly package but Ron Howard still directed a very good movie! The only other movies that manage to suck you into the mind of a person suffering delusions like this are Donnie Darko and The Machinist...but neither compete with the beauty of this particular movie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Baeautiful Mind, beautifully done

    Russel Crowe delivers an outstanding performance alongside co-actors Ed Harris, Jennifer Conelly and Paul Bettany in this emotionally stimulating film based on the life of mathematical professor John Nash.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Story.

    "A Beautiful Mind" is quite an incredible story. Contrary to popular belief, this film is not a biography, nor was it meant to be depicted as one. So, if you are basing the movie off of the book, you have the wrong idea. I found this movie to be poignant, and wonderfully acted/directed. It definitely deserved all of the awards it received, and then some.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An awesome story...

    When I watched this movie I thought it was incredible! Russel Crowe got robbed for not even getting nominated for best actor. Ron Howard is a very gifted director and this movie is no exeption. See it, it roks!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Incredibly Capturing Work

    A beautiful mind is a film that draws interest to the life of the amazing John Nash and the destructive and unbearable effects of schizophrenia. This story is delivered with the top-most elloquence from both filmakers and the cast. It holds a level of depth that is clearly evident to thoes who have any interest in the lives of the "greats" in the academic world. "A Beautiful Mind" accomplished the stature of a memorable and enduring classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ask Those Who Know

    Coming from a family of three people who are challenged and suffer with 'beautiful minds' I turly respect this movie. It gives those who are challenged hope and comfort. It allows those with mental problems to know that they are okay for who they are. It encourages them to be the best they can be, even if that means they will never be what others consider 'normal'. You had better believe that therapist everywhere are seeing a possitive change in their patients who saw this movie, and have since decided that they are 'okay' after all. That they can live their lives, and not have to be ashamed of their differences. That it's okay to be different. That it's all right to be themselves. The movie establishes that those with 'beautiful minds' must follow basic rules like everyone else, but while living within those basic rules, they can have life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A story for ages

    A Beautiful Mind is an epic, gripping story that had to be told, and I am especially glad that it was told in such an amazing manner. Russel Crowe and Jennifer Connely put on amazing preformances, they made me forget that I was watching a movie, and made me feel like i was actually there. I especially liked the take they took on filming it. By starting us out with seeing John Nash's halucenations and making you, yourself question if it is real. It made you feel and care for John, instead of making you think he was completely insane. Awesome movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mine puzzling

    This movie was great but also it got you to think. The acting and story line was some of the best in years. Why I say that is that it seems in a lot of movies they have a great story line or they start off great but than suck at the end like the gave up or wonted to finish it up to fast. Beside that this movie had a good impact on me and others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorite movies

    I completely agree with the 12 year old that wrote the review about a year ago. This movie was truly touching and amazing. Mr. Washington, sorry, but the oscar belongs to Mr. Crowe for his excellent portrayal of John Nash. I totally agree that Mrs. Connelly deserved her oscar. I was so happy that Ron Howard and Brian Graizer received oscars for their great jobs. This movie completely deserved to get best picture (and that was so cool how Tom Hamks announced it)! Well, like I said one of the best movies that I have seen in my life of eleven years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Truly touching

    You have to have appreciation for this film. Sure, it's not a day by day depiction of John Nash's real life, but it covers enough of the basics of his life that you have to realize what he went through. True, his wife did divorce him in ''real'' life, yet, if you read the biography by Sylvia Nasar, she does stay by his side to the very end...you have to agree that that takes a lot of courage and strength. To live a life so full of genius, and then to have the same thing that gives you that gift ''turn'' on you, blows my mind. John Nash achieved way more in his life WITH schizophrenia, than I ever will in my whole life. So, although the film doesn't follow the biography exactly, you have to realize that no film is exactly how the book is written...the main thing is that it shows you that there is diseases, etc in this world and this film is how one man LIVED his life with a horrible disease.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing...takes your heart away.

    This was one of the best movies I have seen in my whole short life of 12 yrs. I am sorry Denzel, this Oscar should have gone to Russel Crowe. Jennifer Conelly may keep her Oscar though. (I oved her in Labrynth.) Super job, Ron Howard.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brilliant

    The movie was a kind of its own if i where an editor i would be proud to have viewed such a wonderful movie.This makes u think what you have done if where the actors placeto have to come wiyh an awardwining perfomance.Then for barns and nobles to put at such a cheap price it makes proud to shop online.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best films of 2001!

    When I rented A Beautiful Mind, I wanted to see what everybody was fussing about. But After I saw it, I thought it was a great movie. Ron Howard did a great job of directing, and Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris did an excellent job of acting. My only problem was Russell Crowe. Crowe was a bad choice to play John Nash. John Nash was a brilliant man and Russell Crowe made him dull. The film was just as good as the Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. They both are the best in their categories but the Lord of the Rings was cheated by the Oscars. I thought Jennifer Connelly deserved the oscar for supporting actress but A Beautiful Mind (at least to me) shouldn't have won for best picture. But it is still an excellent film that should be watched.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    you must see this movie

    russel crowe was awesome in this movie. It is wonderful, I recommend everyone see it. It is one of the best movies I have seen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not So Very Beautiful

    I missed seeing A BEAUTIFUL MIND at the cinema and didn't have any desire to own or even rent the DVD, but my husband bought it and insisted I watch it with him, and, of course, I did. I must say, we were both very disappointed in it after hearing such glowing things about it. The premise of A BEAUTIFUL MIND sounds like it could be really first rate: one man's battle to overcome the devastating effects of schizophrenia with the help and support of his wife and, along the way, battling to exercise the 'beautiful mind' with which he was gifted, but about twenty minutes into the film, I realized that I was watching yet another sentimental, cloying version of PATCH ADAMS, a film meant to draw tears, tug at heartstrings and tell us that love can overcome anything, which, of course, it can't. A BEAUTIFUL MIND is supposedly the true story of John Nash (Russell Crowe), but I do think Ron Howard indulged in more than a little poetic license when crafting the 'facts' of this film. I really didn't care about that. I've read the book by Sylvia Nasar and artistic license is something I'm glad to grant any author or filmmaker, just as long as he isn't making documentaries. If the facts of John Nash's life didn't happen exactly as Howard depicted them, so what? What bothered me more was the cloying sentimentality of Nash's marriage and the almost fantasy-like way in which schizophrenia was portrayed. And, I don't think anyone should applaud Nash's decision to battle his schizophrenia without medication. What kind of a selfish, self-serving, inaccurate message is that sending to those who are depressed, anxious, anorexic, bulimic, obsessive-compulsive, schizophrenic and who might suffer from a host of other 'emotional/mental' illnesses, illnesses that are, we know now, chemical in nature and, as such, must be treated with drugs for maximum recovery? Granted, when Nash was diagnosed, not much was known about schizophrenia at all and there were no really effective medications to try to control some of its symptoms. Nash surely had a terrible time of it. Still, I didn't find Nash's choice all that commendable. And, I really didn't like the way Howard chose to portray schizophrenia. He made it seem like some Hollywood montage rather than a genuine physical illness (yes I did mean to write 'physical;' as an illness afflicting brain chemistry, it is physical in nature rather than mental). I don't mean to diminish John Nash's achievement. There can be no downplaying of the fact that he became an MIT professor and won the Nobel Prize, however, he did those things when his illness was in remission. Jennifer Connelly is one of my least favorite actresses, but she did an admirable job in A BEAUTIFUL MIND. I didn't find her performance as earth shattering as did many viewers of this film, but I think that had more to do with the script than with Connelly's acting abilities. The one thing that rescued this film for me was Russell Crowe's magnificently intense performance as John Nash. In a film that leans heavily toward sentimentality and shtick, Crowe did his best to rescue what he could. The problem was, he simply couldn't rescue enough. In the end, I came to the conclusion that there was simply no way anyone could have written A BEAUTIFUL MIND and not slipped into cloying sentimentality. The only way it could have been done would have been to cut the love story and then the film would have portrayed John Nash's life even less accurately. John Nash certainly achieved more than most people can, in reality, ever dream of achieving, but A BEAUTIFUL MIND, I think, in portraying his wife, Alicia (Jennifer Connelly) as the 'saving grace' in his life, was the film's downfall and the thing that, for me, at least, caused it to be little more than another trite 'formula romance.' Love is the most beautiful thing in the world, but it's also the hardest, and it rarely overcomes the smaller frustrations of life, let alone schizophrenia. You'

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Boring

    I thought that this movie was boring and way to long. I would never buy this movie.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What is the attraction?

    I'm sorry, but this movie was simply too boring! I couldn't finish it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Unbelievably Brilliant.

    What a beautiful and intriguing movie. The fact that it is based on a true story adds to the ubelievable realization that human beings are capable of such personal accomplishments and achievements, such as those made by John Nash and his wife. How reassuring to be reminded, too, that another person's love and loyalty can help to conquer life's insurmountable odds.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews