Take a complex and brilliant minded real life individual and water it down to fit the convenience of a Hollywood script and a director who is only capable of directing mellow drama material. The actors have nothing to work with and can't be blamed although Crowe's accent seems to be doing a walking tour of America at the start. If your interested in knowing the real life Nash then check out A Brilliant Madness.
3,7. Jennifer Connelly makes me feel like an emotional roller-coaster of emotions. I tip my hat to you, kind lady. This type of twist doesn't work anymore because you can feel it coming like a disoriented train. I liked the golden look that some of the locations had.
A lot of stuff was eliminated the Hollywood way, yet I still think it's a fine melodrama, with strong performances. The reason this works for me is that I take the film seriously, as an almost tragic lament of Nash's purgatorial life. He died in 2012 with his wife in a car crash, so I guess tragedy was always following him, amidst all the genius.
It's unfortunate to see how downplayed Jennifer Connelly's character is - and how she acts as a thematic vessel to further the "one person can change all" cliche - in comparison to Russell Crowe's, who gets a challenging character to play and owns it. Loved a lot of the behavioral mannerisms Crowe predicates his performance upon, but there's an ordinariness in here that I feel some are ignoring.
I went into the film not knowing much about it at all, and found myself rather bored at the beginning despite Crowe's perfectly good performance. However, it does pick up in the second half. Ron Howard's direction is incredibly boring throughout but Crowe and Connelly make for a watchable pair. A nice conventional Hollywood film that won't change your perspective on life, but worth a watch if you're bored.
Russell Crowe holds this clever portrayal of a disintegrating mind together. However, the bittersweet feeling of his single undergraduate one-trick-pony achievement justifying his entire existence is not upheld in real life, just check his real accolades and contributions to mathematics, which are infinitely more engaging than this commercialised tale.