#148: A Beautiful Mind (2001)

When and how did I watch this?

January 29th, 2016, on a friend’s PLEX account.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

It’s one of my mom’s favorites, and it stars Russell Crowe.  That’s it. I probably should’ve known more about it.

What do I know about it now?

It’s a well-put together film, but nothing particularly stunning to me.  I enjoyed the story of this man, but what really jutted out at me was Crowe’s performance — he was at his best, coming off of another Oscar nomination (Gladiator). The film itself seemed like a tamer version of Shutter Islandbut equally painful in terms of revealing an innocent, brilliant, deteriorating mind to a vulnerable audience. Ed Harris was excellent as well.

What are some themes in the film?

Schizophrenia, academia, mathematics, marriage, friendship

Did this affect me personally?

Yes.  I had a grandmother who underwent shock therapy as well.  Although I wasn’t alive to see its effects, it’s refreshing to know, in contrast to what happened to Nash (Crowe), that medicine has come a long way in treating mental illness.

Why is this ranked #148?

It has a loaded cast and production crew, along with featuring a multi-Oscar winning composer (Horner).  It hogged the Oscars, and it’s an unforgettable story.  The climax is moving. It’s a nice ranking for this film.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She watched it with me and enjoyed it more than I did. I think I ruined it for myself by spotting cliches. She doesn’t have that problem.

Would I watch it again?

Yeah.  It’s a refreshing film.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Of course.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

I think so.  There’s nothing that says otherwise.  Perhaps I’m getting caught up in expecting each entry on this list to be an earth-shattering, suspenseful, memorable film. While A Beautiful Mind wasn’t really any of this, it has those elements required on the list: a compact, compelling story, excellent cinematography, sound acting, and, once again, it doesn’t waste time.

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