This is not a movie about
the return to health after the depth of mental illness. It is a
story of a return to life in the midst of mental illness. In that
life is a triumph far beyond what those of us with a life filled
with mental health can fully comprehend.
BY DARREL MANSON and ANNETTE WIERSTRA
A BEAUTIFUL MIND
This page was created on December 26, 2001
This page was last updated on May 23, 2005
by Ron Howard
Book by Sylvia Nasar
Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman
Crowe .... John Forbes Nash Jr.
Ed Harris .... William Parcher
Jennifer Connelly .... Alicia Nash
Paul Bettany .... Charles
Adam Goldberg .... Sol
Cardone .... Marcee
Judd Hirsch .... Helinger
Lucas .... Hansen
Anthony Rapp .... Bender
Christopher Plummer .... Dr. Rosen
by Brian Grazer (producer), Todd Hallowell (executive producer),
Ron Howard (producer), Karen Kehela (executive producer)
Original music by James Horner
by Roger Deakins
Film Editing by Daniel P. Hanley and Mike Hill
- for intense thematic material, sexual content and a scene of violence
Beautiful Mind (2001 film)
1. Kaleidoscope Of Mathematics, A 2. Playing A Game Of "GO!" 3.
Looking For The Next Great Idea 4. Creating "Governing Dynamics"
5. Cracking The Russian Codes 6. Nash Descends Into Parcher's World
7. First Drop-Off, First Kiss 8. The Car Chase 9. Alicia Discovers
Nash's Dark World 10. Real Or Imagined? 11. Of One Heart, Of One
Mind 12. Saying Goodbye To Those You So Love 13. Teaching Mathematics
Again 14. The Prize Of One's Life...The Prize Of One's Mind 15.
All Love Can Be - Charlotte Church 16. Closing Credits
saw the world
in a way no one could have imagined.
From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes
Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing
discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international
acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on
a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years
of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally
- late in life - received the Nobel Prize.
Artesia Christian Church, Artesia, CA
has an incredible love and interest in the cinematic arts. His
reviews usually include independent and significantly important
film. Some of his reviews: Chocolat,
Dancer in the Dark, Faithless,
Finding Forrester, Memento,
O Brother Where art Thou, Pollock,
of a Vampire, Widow of St Pierre,
Jump Tomorrow, Tortilla
Soup, Go Tiger, Life
As a House, The Business
of Strangers, The Man Who Wasn't
There, A Beautiful Min
always had a fascination with insanity. Don Quixote is one of my
heroes. There is just something appealing about being able to see
a world that isn't there for anyone else.
course, mental illness is serious and brings a great deal of suffering,
but sometimes that insanity may give something no one else can ever
Nash was brilliant. Instead of going to classes while in graduate
school at Princeton, he looked for some pattern or formula that
would be an original thought and make him something special. And
he found it, and it eventually led to his receiving the Nobel Prize
in Economics. A man with absolutely no social skills, he spent most
of his time alone or working.
In time he found someone to love and a life with meaning. But through
it all, he was mentally ill, diagnosed with schizophrenia and paranoia.
The treatment left him unable to think or work or even enjoy his
life with his family. And so, as many mentally ill do, he went off
his medication, and the illness and all its ugliness returned.
is not a movie about the return to health after the depth of mental
illness. It is a story of a return to life in the midst of mental
illness. In that life is a triumph far beyond what those of us with
a life filled with mental health can fully comprehend. This is among
the best movies I've seen this year. Russell Crowe is amazing as
the troubled genius who is torn between his world and reality. Ron
Howard's direction is wonderful. Howard dazzles us with both brilliance
and surprise throughout the story. I had to wonder as I watched
Nash's story, to what extent did his illness fuel his brilliance?
Could he have done the amazing things he did without all the devils
that filled his life? As brilliant as he was, would he have accomplished
much of anything if the chemicals in his brain had been in balance?
also had to consider if the reality I experience might in some ways
hinder me from fully seeing all that God has for me to see. Are
there ways that faith and the Spirit might be bits of insanity that
God gifts us with? There are those who look at some of the great
spiritual sages and suspect various mental illnesses. And maybe
they' re right. There is a mentally ill homeless woman who occasionally
stops by my office for prayer. She tells me of the demons that are
trying to control her, of the frequencies that the planes flying
over head emit, the ministries she has in various other cities.
Sometimes I think about our society that allows such people to fend
for themselves. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn' t be better for
her to be under medical care. And sometimes I wonder if perhaps
that world of hers isn't as real as mine, and that God has indeed
given her important ministries that are beyond what I, or any sane
minister, could ever do.
is a writer and reporter living in Canada. Check out her in-depth
interviews in Left Behind, Hollow
Man, Chicken Run,
What Lies Beneath, Final
Fantasy, A Beautiful Mind
expected the movie "A Beautiful Mind" to inspire me. It's true story
about John Forbes Nash Jr. a Nobel Prize winning mathematician and
a schizophrenic. I knew Russell Crowe, starring as Nash, could carry
the role of the troubled scientist. His performance reminds me of
his role Dr. Jeffery Wigand who took on the tobacco companies in
another true story "The Insider."
was right. "A Beautiful Mind" is well acted, well produced and tells
an incredible story. But while I watched the credits role on "A
Beautiful Mind" I wasn't thinking about the inspiration or Crowe's
acting ability. I was thinking about love. And I kept pondering
it all the way home.
marries one of his physic students while teaching at MIT. Alicia
Larde (Jennifer Connelly) found Nash's eccentricities charming and
asks him out to dinner. In 1957 the two were married.
is only a few years later that Nash's schizophrenia is diagnosed.
He becomes paranoid and delusional and at times violent. The realization
of the extent of his illness is sickening. Nash's world comes crashing
down around him. People
and things he believes are real are all in his head. Nash can no
longer be convinced about who is real and who is in his head.
is given shock therapy and locked in an institution to heal his
mind. With prescriptions to stop the hallucinations, Nash is sent
back home to his wife. The drugs of the '60s are so strong that
Nash's usually active mind was sluggish.
drugs also reduced his ability to be intimate with his wife, making
an already strained relationship even more difficult. Alicia has
to live with a husband who has displayed violent tendencies and
a loose grip on reality.
fully expected the couple to split up. If I was in Alicia's situation
I don't know if I would have had the courage and commitment to stay
with Nash - but I hope I would. In a time when marriage breakups
are common, I think even the more conservative minded could understand
why the Nash's relationship could fail.
really makes me feel that this couple had a deep understanding of
what love really is. Love is more than attraction and a few picnics
in the park. It's a commitment and a daily choice to stay with that
person. Love carried them through some terrible difficulties. Not
only did they have to deal with Nash's illness but their son, John
Charles Nash born in 1960, was also diagnosed with the disease.
Alicia's support, Nash moves back into the real world. He starts
to keep office hours at Princeton University in New Jersey and work
with students. Slowly Nash regains control over his life and his
disease. In 1994, the world acknowledged his original ideas about
governing ideas with the Nobel Prize in Economic Science.
movie doesn't touch on it but the couple did divorce in 1963. But
divorce did not separate the couple. Nash continued to live with
Alicia and the couple struggled through the illness together. In
2001, at the age of 71, Nash remarried the 68 year-old Alicia.
verse from the Bible came to mind when I thought about the love
between the couple. "[Love] always protects, always trusts, always
hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." Corinthians 13: 7-8.
The Nash's love lasted over 40 years against some incredible odds.
think God is like Alicia. I think he put up with our delusions and
failings and keeps plugging along at our side. It's a good feeling
to know that His divine love never fails even if our human love
Beautiful Mind" was an inspiring movie but for different reasons
than I expected. It's about determination, overcoming great obstacles
to succeed but most of all, I think it's about true love.
ADDITION TO EVERYTHING ELSE...
addition to everything else written about the movie, it is also a
powerful illustration of II Corinthians 12:9 - 10. Because God's power
is revealed in our weaknesses, we can be "well content with weaknesses...distresses...with
difficulties." In fact, finding contentment with one's weaknesses
is often the key to success. For this reason, one of the best moments
in "A Beautiful Mind" comes when Thomas King (Austin Pendleton), representing
the Nobel prize committee, shows up. John Nash looks at him and then
asks a student if King is really there! What a wonderful acceptance
of a weakness. He had moved far beyond being threatened or intimidated
by his delusions.
of the "voices" which influence our actions exist only in our head.
If we can face that reality, accept it (and even occassionally nod
or speak a greeting to the illusions!), we can go on with our lives.
We don't have to give them control. Not only is this one of the best
movies, it is one of the best sermons I've heard in years.
by the way, who cares if the movie mirrors the facts of John Nash's
life? Do some people really not grasp the concept of art? Being unable
to discern (or accept) the difference between the painting and the
actual landscape is, in itself, delusional. The "truth" of art is
in the way it helps us to see ourselves and our environment.
Subject: A Beautiful
Date: Sun, 07 Apr 2002
From: Ed Chinn
TO COMMENT BY NANCY
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002
the comment of Nancy Errebo. I must object to her saying how Psychiatric
treatment is respectful. They zapped his brain and I'm sure not
with his consent. I was in the Marines and they diagnosed me manic
depressive I was taken to a hospital and given thorozene without
my consent. That drug is like getting hit in your head with a sledgehammer.
I can't imagine having electroshock therapy. That part of my life
was and still is an embarrassing and puzzling part of my life and
who's to say it didn't hinder my brain function since. As a society
we have not learned what your diet can help or hinder brain function.
The Hippocratic oath is to "First do no harm." The medical universities
and colleges only have a few hours of nutritional studies in there
programs. Why? Ask your doctor how much studies on nutritional studies
he had. Its a shame that big business can so easily sell the ! public
"big macs and fruitloops and donuts" and not think that it has an
effect on our brain. I really felt for Nash when he was in that
hospital and I'm glad that he survived that episode. Hollywood should
make a movie about the injustice of the psychiatric field.
off, David, thank you for running an amazing website. I truly enjoy
the perspectives that your site offers on both pop and arthouse flicks.
regards to "A Beautiful Mind", I think that consumers of the media
tend to forget that the movie they are viewing is not reality, merely
one person's preferred view of reality, at best. The movie cannot
be seen with the idea that it is a documentary of John Nash's life,
nor should it be. While they may find the glorifying of a man's life
apocraphyl, I think they would be better served if they looked at
the story being presented as just that: a story, rather than comparing
and contrasting it to factual events.
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002
From: J P
I very much resonate with Ms. Wierstra's comments. The most refreshing
thing about the movie was seeing a spouse who stood by their counterpart
through all of it, "for better or for worse". Too often we see marriages
splitting up due to stress of one form or another, and we excuse it
as being acceptable due to X, Y, or Z. If A Beautiful Mind presented
an unreal, fantastical view of the truth, is there really a better
fantasy than Unceasing Love?
to your use of RealVideo for commentary, my own access to internet
limits me to not having audio ability (work or library). Your comments
are insightful and interesting, I would hate to not be able to enjoy
your site due to my internet limitations. Perhaps a transcript could
be provided, or perhaps limiting the RealVid choices to being supplimentary,
rather than a replacement, for you usual reviews?
Thanks again for running an interesting and wonderful site,
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002
you for the insight regarding the Christlike love of Alicia for
John. I think that Hansen was also Christlike in his forgiveness,
love, and acceptance of his former rival.
I appreciate the respectful portrayal of the psychiatric treatment
that John Nash received. Psychiatric medications, which are among
the major medical achievements of the 20th century, have helped
so many people. Yet, as A Beautiful Mind demonstrates, human beings
(spouses, friends, doctors) embodying Christ's love can create miracles.
MIND, BEAUTIFUL LIE
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002
be honest-- this film is NOT about the real John Nash! As stated
in the NY TIMES:
He was notorious among his colleagues for his antisocial temperament
and his predilection for cruel put-downs and dangerous practical
he married Alicia, with whom he had a son named John, he fathered
another child, also named John, with a woman named Eleanor Stiers,
and abandoned both mother and child to poverty. He formed a number
of intense, apparently sexual bonds with other men, and he lost
his security clearance and his position at the RAND Corporation
after he was arrested for soliciting sex in a men's room in Santa
Monica, Calif. When his illness became intractable and his behavior
intolerable, Alicia divorced him. (They remarried last June.)
of this has made it to the screen. Worse, the intellectual and political
context that would throw both Mr. Nash's genius and his madness
into high relief has been obliterated. "A Beautiful Mind" opens
with a speech by the fictitious Professor Helinger (Judd Hirsch),
declaring that American mathematicians, having played an important
part in the defeat of Nazi Germany, must now turn their attention
to defeating Soviet Communism. of this Article ------ Now THAT would
have been a movie!
MIND NOT HURT BY CHANGES
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2002
From: "J. Mike Mansfield"
I did not know that the Nashes had been divorced and remarried nor
about his having fathered an illegitimate child. I do not find those
facts to influence my opinion of this film, though, David. This
was a love story; and it was a reminder of me not only that "love
never fails;" but also that ".....love is strong as death, passion
fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If
one offered for love all the wealth of one's house, it would be
Mike J. Michael Mansfield,
Pastor Mt. Holly United Methodist Church
804 Mt. Holly Road Fairdale KY 40118
My Yahoo Calendar http://calendar.yahoo.com/revjmike
Feed the hungry in the world. Visit "The Hunger Site" each day.
BEAUTIFUL MIND COMMENTS
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002
I loved this movie! I took away from it a very deep meaning (probably
deeper than the writer intended), but nonetheless, a meaning I think,
that we as Christians can relate to. I saw the woman (John Nash's
wife) as the "Jesus figure" in a way. She provided John with the
unconditional love that allowed him to heal - to ignore the things
that were not real in his life. These "demons" in John's life are
like temptation in our lives. We see and feel temptation every day,
but we must CHOOSE to ignore it and have faith that Jesus is not
leading us astray and that HIS way of viewing the world is BEST.
John had the faith to believe his wife in that the things he saw
were not real...therefore he found TRUTH and chose to live it!
I agree with your insightful comments. Thank you. -David
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002
From: "Harry Diehl"
I just finished seeing the movie and I thought it was amazing. Having
an autistic child was one of the humbling experiences the Lord used
to bring me to Him. Because my son has been autistic for 35 years
and still is very disabled, I cam empathize with John Nash very
much. My son is also brilliant in many ways, yet because of no communication
skills, his mind is imprisoned by his own body. Through all of his
problems, my son does know Jesus as his savior, and we all have
the certain hope of his complete healing eventually. Brilliant acting
jobs by both Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. I hope they both
May God bless you and your son. -David
AS A DEPARTURE FROM NASH'S TRUE STORY
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002
From: Sue Sailhamer
I really liked the film and its portrayal of the triumph of love
to help Nash regain his life, I was extremely disappointed to learn
that this feel good ending was pure fiction. Nash's wife divorced
him years earlier. He fathered a child out of wedlock before he
was married. I realize that movies combine characters and rearrange
facts. But the best part of A beautiful Mind is not even close to
Yes, film and story telling is like that. Books can be too. Just
enjoy the film as story with a great lesson based on a true story.
Besides, they remarried in their senior years. It is a real love
A Beautiful Mind © 2001 Universal Pictures.
All Rights Reserved.