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A Beautiful Mind
Short plot summary

A highly regarded mathematician suffers paranoid schizophrenia which almost destroys his life until he comes to terms with it.

What our panel of critics thought

"I started to watch this movie and, during the second half hour, I thought: 'OH MY GOD! What am I doing here? This is just a second rate spy thriller. How on earth did this pile of poo win so many awards, including best picture?' I am glad I kept with it because that question was answered more than adequately in the second half."

"Up there with Schindlers List for a movie to watch once (or maybe twice) but I won' be adding it to my own collection as paranoid schizophrenia is only one notch below a film on Clinical Depression for laughs."

"I laughed and I laughed and then I had to take a toilet break and then when I returned I laughed until my sides ached. Does that make me a bad person?"

"I thoroughly recommend a good bottle of something very alcoholic to drink through this movie. Otherwise it is truly depressing."

"Note to self: Ed Harris looks really good in a hat."

Please tell me the ending

The spy and the friend from Princeton and his niece are all delusions. The first thing that probably strikes you as odd is the implant in his forearm. Digital technology was not available in the 1940's and the way it was inserted (like a stapler) is ludicrously unlikely. That is the only clue that we picked up on, however, and the true depth of the delusion only becomes apparent once he is in hospital and his wife goes to check out the drops for the proofs that Nash has produced.

It is from that point that you can see his problem. Nicely done.

Nash eventually wins the Nobel Prize for Economics, his pioneering game theory is used extensively in zero sum games.

Justify this movie's existence in the classic strand. From theVoiceof Reason.com's classically trained Veritable Cornucopia

Don't make the mistake of getting half way and thinking what a load of b movie thriller tosh this movie is. You need to get through to the end once the spy stuff starts.

An eye opener of a movie. Perhaps the best attempt to deal with paranoid schizophrenia one has ever seen (only?) and that possibly explains why this movie has done so well for awards.

It is nicely shot. The mathematics are not handled to any depth. On the one hand that is probably a good thing as a general audience doesn't want to get weighed down in formulas, however as there is only one small explanation of his theories (below), one found it difficult to understand the full impact his theory must have had to win the Nobel Prize.

Quotable quote (real)
"Who's winning? You or you?"
"Adam Smith needs revision... If we all go for the blond, we block each other, not a single one of us is gonna get her. So then we go for her friends they will all give us the cold shoulder because nobody likes to be second choice. But what if nobody goes for the blonde? We don't get in each other's way and we don't insult the other girls. That's the only way we win. That's the only way we all get laid.
Adam Smith said the best result comes if everyone in the group does what's best for himself. Incomplete. The best result will come if everyone in the group does what is best for himself and the group."
Other comments

A worthy movie, perhaps a watch it twice movie so that you can watch the movie a second time without that horrible feeling you are in the middle of a B rate thriller which happened to us in the first hour.

Ultimately, the movie has a sort of happy ending, although we were left wondering what actually it was that John Nash had actually done. The blonde quote (above), we presume, is the closest the movie gets to an explanation of the mathematics that he proved that got him the Nobel Prize..

Date of Review

September 14, 2005

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