A Beautiful Mind

John Nash: Russell Crowe
Parcher: Ed Harris
Alicia: Jennifer Connelly
Charles: Paul Bettany
Dr. Rosen: Christopher Plummer
Helinger: Judd Hirsch
Universal Pictures presents a film directed by Ron Howard. Written by Akiva Goldsman based on the book by Sylvia Nasar. Running time: 129 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for intense thematic material, sexual content and a scene of violence).

Central Theme
A brilliant mind becomes a beautiful mind when it faces life’s grim realities with heart and love.

Based loosely on Sylvia Nasar’s acclaimed biography of mathematician John Forbes Nash, the film is a compelling look at one man’s genius, his debilitating mental illness, and the fine line between the two. A BEAUTIFUL MIND begins with Nash (Russell Crowe) at Princeton, where he struggles to think of an original idea, and the stroke of genius that will make him matter. Nash is eccentric, socially awkward, and extremely competitive. Eventually, he finds the inspiration for his innovative and influential work on game theory. He’s chosen for a post at MIT, which includes crucial code-breaking work for the US government. There, he meets a beautiful and brilliant student, Alicia (Jennifer Connelly). They marry but their happiness is threatened, as Nash, belatedly diagnosed as schizophrenic, descends into madness. (Universal)

Beliefs num
–The mind is incomplete without the heart. John’s mind is brilliant but he is a woefully incomplete individual before his heart is awakened. To the “mysterious reasonings of love.” (Love the Lord with all your mind, heart and soul – Jesus).
–Every life has great worth. With a mind and accomplishments that led to comparisons with Newton and Darwin, for many years Nash wandered Yale’s campus muttering to himself while mocked and ridiculed by students. Yet beneath the oddness was a brilliant mind and warming heart. Mental health professionals are reacting positively to this film’s humanization of mental illness.
–There is no problem without a solution. I can work this out. Nash believes that through sheer determination his brilliant mind can compensate for mental illness. Mental health professionals are reacting negatively to John’s decision to go off “meds” and “reason himself” back to a semblance of normalcy. This belief in human sufficiency is the dominant view of our day and from a Judeo-Christian standpoint is a deceptive half-truth. Our mind is powerful, but finds its completion and sufficiency in God.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Have you faced a situation in life that helped you realize that on your own you could not work it out?
–What’s the relationship between human effort and reliance on something or someone other than yourself?
–Alicia’s anger at God is understandable – why would God allow anybody to suffer from mental illness?
–Nash trusted his mind and will for “healing” so he gave up his meds. There are those who trust God for healing and do the same thing. What is the difference?
–How should we relate to a mentally ill person and how do we know who is mentally ill?

Provocative Quotes byline
–‘I am searching for a truly original idea¢â‚¬¦there is not a single seminal idea on either of your papers.’
==Nash’s stated goal for his life and his dismissive analysis of a colleague’s published work
–‘I had the first move. My play was perfect. The game is flawed.’
==John, when losing a game
–‘I don’t much like people and they don’t much like me.’
==John’s attitude about people before he meets Alicia
–‘She said I was born with two helpings of brain and a half-helping of heart.’
==John’s memories of a first grade teacher’s observation about him
–‘Ritual requires we proceed with a number of platonic activities before we have sex.’
==John’s view as expressed in his attempts at intimacy with women
–‘How big is the universe?’ ‘Infinite.’ ‘How do you know that for sure?’ ‘I don’t. I just believe it .’ ‘I guess it is that way with love.’
==conversation between Alicia and John
–‘What is there besides work?’
==when unable to work, John feels his life has no meaning
–‘I rage against John and ¢â‚¬¦against God.’
==Alicia, when asked how she handles John’s mental illness
–‘I need to believe that something extraordinary is possible.’
==Alicia, when offering to face John’s schizophrenia together with him
–‘Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to have a beautiful heart.’
–I’ve always believed in numbers, in the equations and logics that lead to reason. But after a lifetime of such pursuit I ask what truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me through the physical the metaphysical, the delusional and back. And I have made the most important discovery of my career;the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logical reasons can be found. I’m only here tonight because of you. You are the reason I am. You are all my reasons. Thank you.
==John Nash at Nobel Prize awards December 1994.
–‘A man forever voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.’
==Sylvia Nasar, quoting Wordsworth in her book

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