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Beautyful Mind, A

A beautiful Mind, winner of 4 oscars, tells the true story of the life of the brilliant mathematician John Nash from his youth in Princeton where he gets confronted with his nerdy appearance and the problem of not having published any of his research to the time he gets the Nobel price for Economy.

It’s hard to give a decent review of the movie without giving away any spoilers (those that have seen it already know what I’m talking about) but I’ll try to do my best.

From the beginning you see that Nash (Russell Crowe) has problem interacting with other people. The only student he seems to really get along with is his roommate Charles Herman (Paul Bettany). While John is getting into trouble because he hasn’t published any research yet, and has the risk of loosing his college grant, Herman helps him to loosen up and finally getting his degree as Doctor in Maths and becoming a professor at M.I.T.

As a professor, he sometimes gets jobs for the Pentagon to do some decoding of enemy messages and soon after he’s contacted by an agent of the contra-spionage, William Parsher who is played by Ed Harris, who asks him to regularly check magazines for hidden messages from Russion spies who are secretly working on a portable atom bomb. Nash has hardly any social contacts with anyone but after a while an ex-student of his, Alicia Lopez (Jennifer Connely), gets in the picture. They fall in love and after a while they get married.

Due to the fact that his work for Parcher is top secret, he isn’t allowed to tell Alicia anything but what they don’t know is that he is suffering of a severe case of schizofreny which coïncides with paranoia and that almost costs him everything he ever loved.

Sound and Vision:
A beautiful mind runs on dialogues and feeling rather than special effects. Therefor it’s no problem that DTS is not an option. Dolby Digital 5.1 is more than enough for the atmosphere-creating details that give this movie an extra egde.

The anamorphic widescreen is good although nothing special. Overall, the timbre is a bit dark and has some grainess but is sharp and with good contrast.

Extras:
There’s 2 version available for DVD: a normal 1-disc version and the “Two Disc Award Edition”.
The first disc is in both cases the same with next to the movie 28 minutes of deleted scenes that are accompanied by very good commentary by Ron Howard who clearly states why a certain scene was not put in the movie, and 2 commentary track by both Ron Howard himself and script writer Akiva Goldman. All of this is luckily subtitled.

The second disc has a real bunch of extras like documentaries, interviews (including some with the real John Nash), a 2 minute trailer and a commercial that should make you buy the soundtrack.

Conclusion:
A beautiful Mind is a great movie and it’s clear why it got 4 academy awards. Whether you should buy the normal or 2-disc version is a choice that you should make for yourself; do you want to see the movie or do you want to know everything there is to know about it ? And are you prepared to pay extra for a second disc that has a bunch of interviews and documentaries ?

Our Score:
8.0

posted in: DVD, Paramount, Reviews
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