**/**** Image A- Sound B Extras A-
starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany
screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar
directed by Ron Howard
by Walter Chaw Mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr. gained his reputation in theoretical economics and/by discerning patterns in impossibly complicated numerical models. A Beautiful Mind, a film based very loosely upon his life, likewise deals with theoretical economics (in regards to Christmas box office), but offers bland predictable patterns in place of complexity. For example, because this is DreamWorks'/Universal's Oscar tentpole, the running time falls safely in the "adult contemporary holiday respectable" range of 130-145 minutes, and it features a big name actor in a role that requires him to be some combination of mentally disabled (I Am Sam, Forrest Gump, Rain Man), insane (As Good As It Gets), or that delicate combination of the two: a genius (Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester).