Indie science fiction with a rare humanism, a scientific and emotional mystery with a solution Hollywood wouldn’t dare go anywhere near.
Dull and perfunctory, this is a crime thriller that sets itself up as a revenge story but can’t manage to drum up any excitement or suspense, and precious little revenge, either.
So whaddaya know? Ron Howard and Russell Crowe rode the short bus all to the way to the Oscars by playing the ‘we made a sensitive film about the mentally ill’ card. Which is complete crap, of course. *A Beautiful Mind* is pure made-for-Hollywood pap about the mentally ill in which schizophrenia is treated by Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman the way doctors used to treat it in the bad old days before we (some of us, anyway) were enlightened about diseases of the brain: Hey, snap out of it! Get over it! It’s all in your head!
Toss a coin: Which do you prefer: A Heartwarming(TM) tale of one man’s triumph over mental illness? Or one director’s biting off more than he can chew and falling rather flat on his face? Or one more mostly terrific performance from Crowe? No need to look for a three-sided coin — you get all three in A Beautiful Mind.