Genre Guesstimation – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Nick Rehak of French Toast Sunday and we will be reviewing our favorite Biographical Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of May by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Nick!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Biographical Films……

“Mathematicians won the war. Mathematicians broke the Japanese codes… and built the A-bomb. Mathematicians… like you. The stated goal of the Soviets is global Communism. In medicine or economics, in technology or space, battle lines are being drawn. To triumph, we need results. Publishable, applicable results. Now who among you will be the next Morse? The next Einstein? Who among you will be the vanguard of democracy, freedom, and discovery? Today, we bequeath America’s future into your able hands. Welcome to Princeton, gentlemen. ” – Helinger

Number of Times Seen – at least 3 times (19 Feb 2002 in Theater, 28 Aug 2013 and 7 May 2021)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Biography of an Economics Professor who strived to find meaning in his work while also dealing with his own schizophrenia.

My Take on it – Having worked for over two decades in the world of academic research, I am very familiar with the kind of eccentric personalities that Professors can have.

This is a film that gets that so perfect and it has to do with the great performance by Russell Crowe in the lead role.

The movie is able to show how such an intelligent man needed to find his own way out of the labyrinth of his mind in order to help get a better understanding of what is reality and what is just a figment of his imagination.

Jennifer Connelly is superb as his devoted wife who helps him along the way.

She deservingly won an Oscar for her work in this film as Best Supporting Actress.

The story’s main problem is that it’s time span captures over 4 decades of his life and work and in just slightly over 2 and half hours, it feels as if it skips around a bit too much.

The film did manage to win Best Director and Best Picture for Ron Howard, but I still believe that this is far from his best work and those awards were somewhat compensation for not winning 6 years earlier for Apollo 13 (1995).

The movie is also able to use special effects in a minimalist way in order to try and allow the viewer to get a better understanding of the mind of this man.

Still a very good movie, but it fails to reach greater heights due to the way it jumps around a bit too much.


MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – After coming up with the idea for his revolutionary paper, John Nash goes and shows a manuscript of it to Helinger (Judd Hirsch). The manuscript is an actual copy of the original article, published in the specialized journal “Econometrica,” under the title “The Bargaining Problem.” (Figure 1 of the original paper, appears in the manuscript shown in the movie). (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – No quite. It does come close, but the story line spans too long a time period and just over two hours isn’;t enough to really give us something deeper and more poignant.

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)


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