Ron Howard's Oscar-winning drama stars Russell Crowe as John Nash, the genius mathematician who earned a Nobel Prize despite suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. While keeping the biographical details perfectly clear, Howard expertly conveys Nash's distorted view of reality to create an unusual and intriguing picture of a tortured genius. Jennifer Connelly was named Best Supporting Actress for her strong yet sympathetic portrayal of Nash's wife, Howard claimed Best Director and the film was anointed Best Picture. Screenwriter Akiva Goldman picked up the movie's fourth Academy Award.
Russell Crowe's performance as John Forbes Nash, the American mathematician who overcame paranoid schizophrenia to receive the Nobel Prize for economics in 1994, is a tour de force.
We first meet him as a student at Princeton and last see him 47 years later and Crowe is utterly convincing throughout.
Meanwhile, what happens in those 47 years would be unbelievable if it weren't fundamentally true.
The young Nash was arrogant, shy, odd and brilliant.
He invented a game theory, the Nash Equilibrium, which was to gain him the Nobel Prize, and became a codebreaker for the Pentagon.
He married one of his students, Alicia (the Oscar-winning Jennifer Connelly), and grew increasingly obsessive and alienated.
But by now the schizophrenia had kicked in and not all we are told is true.
The question, cleverly explored by Ron Howard's film, is: where does reality end and Nash's fevered imagination take over?
As time passes Nash, too, starts to wonder and to fight his illness with mathematical logic and the help of his long-suffering wife.
This is stirring and absorbing stuff.