A Beautiful Mind
***.5 GM
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Ed Harris, Christopher Plummer


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L.A. Confidential. L.A. Confidential. L.A. Confidential.

I find myself repeating this mantra as I get closer and closer to being nauseated and annoyed by the very thought of Russell Crowe due to his horrid overexposure and his legendary dickhead exploits. But I loved him in L.A. Confidential and I even thought he was cool in Gladiator. I don't want to start hating this guy.

But it was with slightly gritted teeth that I sat down to watch this film, trying to fight away my growing prejudices. I managed to put them in the seat next to me, and they were quiet and behaved as the story unfolded. Crowe is John Nash, a brilliant mathmetician who gets caught up into the government codebreakers unit during the Cold War only to find out he's goddamned schizophrenic and having all sorts of adventures that are taking place within his mind only. Luckily, he somehow managed to marry Jennifer Connelly in between paranoid delusions, as she's apparently the cure for mental illness. I know she'd be the cure for what ails ME, hubba hubba, wink wink, nudgey mcnudge, hot damn, and so on. I mean, hell, the poster for "Career Opportunities" alone got me through many a lonely evening. I don't doubt that her undying devotion under dire circumstances could be salve enough to heal a nasty case o' leprosy.

So this is based on a true story, although can you really trust such a thing from Hollywood anymore? I'm sure there's plenty of unsavory and "non-mission-critical" stuff left on the cutting room floor that would have been interesting to know. But I'll never know, for I cannot be bothered to research it.

It is a good film though, despite being blantantly Oscar-calibrated. Ron Howard's determined to win one of those things. But I suppose he can't be faulted for trying to make a really good movie. Lord knows he's got some making-up to do for that fucking Grinch debacle. I was none too impressed by "Apollo 13" either. So there, Richie. This one is good, though. Crowe does a good job as the troubled, disturbed Nash reasoning his way around his disability. Connelly's role is basically just the long-suffering wife, but I like her, so let her be up for an Oscar. Whatever. I also really liked Paul Bettany as Nash's imaginary friend, because he sorta reminded me of what Billy Idol might be had he lived in a different time.

So bravo, gang. Nice job with this one. Of course, my prejudices hopped back into my head and are still swimming around my brain now that I'm not watching the film. Stop making me hate you, Mr. Crowe. I want to like you.

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