John Forbes Nash Jr. was a mathematics prodigy won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1994. He was also a troubled bisexual who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The true story of his life is hard hitting stuff, too bad barely any of the nitty gritty made it to the screen in Ron Howard’s puffy bio pic. A Beautiful Mind cleans ups Nash’s story, softening the edges and failing to provide any insight into the inner workings of this complex man. By the time we get to the third act things have degenerated into true Ron Howard hooey. The saving grace of this movie are the performances of Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. They share real chemistry, and make for convincing viewing. It is hard to believe that this is the same actor who last year was brandishing a sword and fighting tigers in Gladiator. As for Connelly, well, she’s not only uncommonly beautiful, but is also capable of delivering an intelligent polished performance.
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