A Beautiful Mind | Chicago Reader

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All biography has a complex relationship to our perception of a life, and this story about 1994 Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash doesn't address that complexity simply by admitting that it's semifictional. We meet the character, played by Russell Crowe, in 1947 as a graduate student at Princeton, where in one of the movie's most gimmicky—and elegant—scenes he develops a theory that will revolutionize economics. Director Ron Howard's deftness in suggesting the subjective experience of Crowe's character, who's later diagnosed with schizophrenia, makes for inspirational narrative, but certain plot points are so reductive that their relationship to the facts of any real person's life—let alone that of the nominal subject—becomes one of convenience. Akiva Goldsman's screenplay was based on Sylvia Nasar's biography. 129 min.

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