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A Beautiful Mind
Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Ed Harris, Josh Lucas, Adam Goldberg, Anthony Rapp, Vivien Cadone, Judd Hirsch, and Christopher Plummer
Directed By: Ron Howard
Rated: PG-13


A Beautiful Mind is as complex as its subject, Nobel Prize winner Dr. John Nash; it's a funny romantic thriller, high in drama. Russell Crowe is mesmerizing (per usual) and disappears into the role as he does each time he graces his screen.

It's a new year at Princeton 1947 and all the young minds of the future are chomping at the bit to be the next Einstein. There we find a fun group of genius' and one smarty pants is even "more" genius than the rest, John Nash (Russell Crowe). Nash is a bit of an oddball and doesn't mince words with frilly superfluous adjectives. In fact he says precisely what ever his mind calculates as fact without editing. Hence he comes off a tad rude and uncaring and he's no hit with the gals, guys, or common types that wander in and out of his life. He's as socially defunct as he is brilliant.

His Princeton nemesis, Hansen (Josh Lucas), is nearly as "good" as him, and is headed for the position Nash had favored himself. Unless he can come up with something totally new, and hit the world upside the head with his astute theories.

He does. His theory is now known (and utilized) as equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games. There's no layman's terms to that, really, just think games without set rules and you'll be close. With his simple idea, he revolutionized economics,globally, and refutes the long accepted ideas of economic genius Adam Smith. Professional success is his.

Then the government comes to him and asks if he can help them decode some ominous codes they've intercepted. He does. His mind, which is cracker jack fast, is able to crack the code fast as an eggshell cracks- and that's pretty fast- Jack. This attracts a secret agent type, Mr. Parcher (Ed " I played POLLOCK the artist not Pollack the fish!- Harris) who solicits even more secret assistance from the volatile Mr. Nash.

Nash is given top-secret clearance and put to work, finding secret messages the commies have planted in our magazines.

As his governmental extra curriculum begins so does a new phenomenon for the platonic genius. He meets a smart and beautiful gal named Alicia (Jennifer Connelly) and as quickly as mercury is drawn up with temperature Nash falls head over quantum physics in love.

Meanwhile his government contact, Mr. Parcher, informs him the soviets may be on to him and there may be repercussions for he and his new bride. When Nash is shot at while meeting with Mr. Parcher the mental pressure, which is tremendous, starts to take effect. Nash is breaking down faster than an equation in a room full of mathematicians!

I don't want to give away the story…That's all you get. GO SEE THIS!

It appears director Ron Howard has started a tradition…each year right before the holidays he brings us an exceptional gift of a wonderful film. Last year's Grinch, and this year he tops that tenfold with this sensation, A Beautiful Mind. Bravo! His direction takes a sterling cast, and a brilliantly clever script and creates a masterpiece. Scenes are elegantly stitched together like an Armani suit draped upon an Oscar bound actor…

Beautiful Jennifer Connelly lit up the scenes she shared with her star, and not just held her own, but also stole a bit of Crowe's glow.

Speaking of Pollock, its star and director Ed Harris plays his shady government agent Mr. Parcher, with the slither he's so famous for; smooth as a properly crusted Crème Brule.

Paul Bettany ( who basically carried any frame of savable celluloid from that god-awful A Knight's Tale fiasco last summer on his broad lanky shoulders) is wonderful as Nash's best friend, roommate and confidant Charles Herman. I've loved this guy the first time I had the pleasure of seeing him perform. Keep an eye peeled for him...he's a keeper.

When you see and hear Russell Crowe (see n.male adj.manly drool in the dictionary) as Nash complete with a quirky West Virginia accent, an odd over-bite and a goofydoodle haircut, you'll almost forget this manly actor sexed up the screen as a macho hard bodied pheromone projecting studmuffin in Gladiator- almost. Those familiar with Crowe's works know he loves a role that gives him a challenge. It seems to be a kind of Rugby match 'tween the screen with him. Whether he's adding pounds and years to fight evil cigarette companies (The Insider) or leading clueless neo-Nazis to battle against erroneous enemies (Romper Stomper), he devours a role and spits out perfection. I'd like to dip his entire naked being in strawberry whip cream and …

Bluntly speaking? There's no mathematical equation that can produce the number of stars this film deserves; it's infinite.

Snack Recommendation: Slow roasted Kiwi Crowe dipped in Strawberry flavored whip cream ...


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