A Beautiful Mind

Ron Howard has come a long way from his child-actor days in Mayberry to directing some modern classics, like Cocoon and Apollo 13 He doesn't disappoint with A Beautiful Mind, the true story of brilliant Princeton mathematician John Forbes Nash, who overcomes his lifelong struggle with schizophrenia to win the Nobel Prize in 1994. Howard, along with writer Akiva Goldsman, weaves a compelling story of a young, eager mind amidst the intellectual elite of America, competing for academic acclaim by creating a new math formula. Russell Crowe (as John Nash) leads us into the frenzied mind of an introverted man with burning ambitions frustrated by the o­nset of an illness he cannot control by logic or intelligence. His hallucinations take o­n epic proportions, and we see how his struggle to overcome adversity is both a tragedy and a redemption. The rest of the cast gets good grades, but it is really Crowe who carries the film, from more than feelgood Chrismas fare, to an intensely real look inside the luminous mind of a genius plagued by schizophrenia.