Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

 a beautiful mind

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly & Ed Harris

Rating 9/10 

True stories make incredible films and this one is no different. A Beautiful Mind takes your heart, your perceptions, your mind and twists them around and around again. It uses beauty, pain and action to create an irresistible story that drags you in from the very beginning.

John Nash (Crowe) is an awkward genius who has just started at the prestigious Princeton University. Within the group of fellow mathematicians, Nash is a little different, a little dorky. His only friend is his roommate Charles (Paul Bettany) who is the complete opposite: he drinks, throws large pieces of furniture out windows and happens to like Nash. Go figure.

Nash is searching for the one unique idea, so he ditches class and spends his days and nights writing mathematical equations on windows and finally, one day, he gets his one idea! Ping! The light goes on. This leads to an awesome job which leads to work with the government which ultimately leads to a mental breakdown. In the meantime he has started a serious relationship with a gal called Alicia and they get married. Soon after this he starts getting paranoid and things get crazy.

He’s eventually committed to a mental asylum where some shocking truths are revealed. Or are they? Then Alicia has a baby, Nash gets released and life starts getting funky again. I’m not going to spoil all the ‘surprises’ so let’s just say stuff happens, then stuff gets good, then bad then… um… just see the movie will ya!?

This is an exciting film. Oh my goodness, I had chills up and down my spine when things were revealed. Poor old Nash and his family and his brain. The screenplay was faultless, the acting superb and I reckon if Crowe hadn’t won the Best Actor Oscar for Gladiator the previous year, he would have definitely won for this performance. He was outstanding.

This is no sob story though. Awesome director Ron Howard has masterfully interwoven despair with joy, victory with failure in such a fulfilling way. I just felt full after watching this movie and the fact that it is based on a true story… say no more. If you haven’t seen it or if it’s been a while, check it out. It is worth watching again and again and again!

A Beautiful Mind Trivia:

  • Budget – $60 Million
  • Tom Cruise was considered to play Nash.
  • The scene where Nash can’t decide whether to drink tea actually happened when Crowe met him. Nash took 15 minutest to decide and no, I don’t know if he drank it in the end.
  • Alicia Nash was originally from El Salvador so Howard considered having Salma Hayek play her.
  • The screenwriter (Akiva Goldsman) had loads of experience to offer the film as he had worked as a counsellor and had grown up in a group home for disturbed children that his parents established.
  • The maths advisor on the film also worked as Crowe’s hand double for the scenes where he writes on the windows.
  • There are several things that were left out of the film: Nash married Alicia twice, Nash had numerous affairs, he fathered a child in his 20s, he thought that aliens spoke to him, he thought the government was after him and he often made anti-Semitic comments when he was having a crazy moment.
Next week we move from one nutty world to another with the wacky world of Chicago starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

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