11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"They are my past. Everyone is haunted by their past.",
This review is from: A Beautiful Mind [DVD]  (DVD)
Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind" is a tragic and inspiring masterwork that showcases one of the most impressive acting performances in recent memory. If there were still any lingering doubts as to the extent of Russell Crowe's acting prowess, this film dashed them all.
John Nash (Crowe) is a brilliant mathematician who makes an amazing breakthrough in his field while a student at Princeton. After graduating, he teaches at M.I.T. while working for the federal government as a code-breaker. He begins a relationship with a graduate student (Jennifer Connelly) and soon they are married and settled into a quiet domestic life. However, Nash soon starts to see patterns and associations of information everywhere and it is soon discovered that he is suffering from schizophrenia. Serious questions as to his perceptions of the real world, both in the past and in the present, must now be confronted.
Virtually all aspects of "A Beautiful Mind" work beautifully. Howard's confident direction and the strong lead performances by Crowe and Connelly is the glue that holds the entire production together. However, the important contributions made by supporting actors Paul Bettany, Ed Harris, and Christopher Plummer, composer James Horner, and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman should also be acknowledged. "A Beautiful Mind" furthermore deserves credit for not sentimentalizing Nash's struggle against mental illness. The darker aspects of his tortuous road to recovery are not avoided and are unflinchingly presented warts and all. It is a credit to Crowe's talent that we come to know John Nash so well and come to care so much for him. Nash's life is an amazing story and "A Beautiful Mind" is an amazing recounting of it.