Talk:A Beautiful Mind

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Disambiguation
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Disambiguation, an attempt to structure and organize all disambiguation pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, you can edit the page attached to this talk page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project or contribute to the discussion.

Earlier comments[edit]

This film is essentially a story of how a person can overcome a debilitating mental illness to attain a true sense of accomplishment, or even greatness.

I contest this summary: after overcoming his illness, Nash hasn't accomplished anything great. His great work was done when he was young and the illness still in its beginning stages. AxelBoldt, Saturday, April 13, 2002

For goodness sake, the excerpt isn't saying he has accomplished something great after his recovery, it's saying that he has attained a "sense of accomplishment". Whether we're talking about the real or fictional John Nash, it's indisputable that he has achieved this sense, after not only having won a Nobel prize, but having a highly-praised book written about him with ensuing publicity and articles in mathematics-related periodicals. The point is that after having almost disappeared into obscurity, he came back from a "debilitating mental illness" to achieve this recognition. I repeat: no claim is being made of great accomplishments after his recovery. --C S 20:09, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)

Disagree -- the mental conditioning to supress his illness alone warrents this statement. Not to mention the fact that he was able to come back so well that he was granted a proffesorship and be recognized by his fellow professors for his lifetime achievement -- that one Nobel winning paper he wrote was a single event. All this occured after overcoming his illness. maveric149, Saturday, April 13, 2002

He never became professor again after he lost his MIT job in 1959 because of mental illness. What "lifetime achievement" award are you referring to? Looking at his publication list, there is nothing that remotely could be called "great" after 1953 or so.

I would agree that overcoming mental illness is indeed an accomplishment, shared by many, but I don't see greatness anywhere here. AxelBoldt, Saturday, April 13, 2002

We are talking here about the character in the movie. In the movie John Nash is honored by his fellow professors by them giving him their pens and congratulating him. This spontaneous ceremony was depicted earlier in the film as s show of recognition for lifetime achievment that is bestoyed by professors to other distinguished professors at Princeston U. Let's not confuse the real John Nash from the character in the film. Even so, I will qualify the statement you are referring to. maveric149, Saturday, April 13, 2002

I loved the bio of this film from the wikipedia entry; AND I don't think it should be seperated; but maybe enhanced with more material like this guys {below} two paragraphs =) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 5 April 2006‎ (UTC)

Did someone revert me; dammit... anyways; yea split the entry, too confusing from book verse movie — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 5 April 2006‎ (UTC)

Difference between film character and real person needs amplification[edit]

I saw and loved the film. Then I read and loved the biography, one of the best biographies of a scientist or mathematician or engineer that I have ever read, because for once the biographer actually manages to convey something meaningful about his mathematical accomplishments.

I was, however, shocked by the lack of concordance between the basic events in the film and in Nash's life. The film is really about a fictional character with a vague resemblance to John Nash who happens to be named John Nash. It's a roman a clef with a plaintext clef. The resemblance between the John Nash of the book and the movie is perhaps less strong than the resemblance between Howard Hughes and Jonas Cord in "The Carpetbaggers."

For example, in the movie, Nash and his girlfriend are underneath a starry sky. He challenges her to name anything, and he'll find it in the stars. She names an umbrella and he looks up at the sky, filled what seems to be a random starfield, and suddenly a very umbrella-shaped asterism intensifies as he recognizes it and points it out. It's a nice dramatization of the phenomenon of seeing patterns. But no such incident or talent is mentioned in the book.

The book does not mention the incident in which Nash almost lets his child drown in the bathtub because he believes his illusory companion is taking care of him. Nor the pen ceremony. Nor his hallucination that a government has embedded a password device in his arm. Nor the moment when his wife finds the nearby garage, with the walls completely covered with newspaper clipping in which he has found and marked out patterns. Nor the moment when someone finds the abandoned mailbox in which he has been dropping his reports, believing that the government was picking them up. Nor...

...Well, what I mean to say is that this goes way beyond the degree of fictionalization you expect, even in a movie biography. And reviewers don't seem to have noted this much. I get the impression that the movie reviewers for the most part didn't even read Nasar's book. The controversy about biographical accuracy centers on question such as whether his homosexuality and antisemitism were downplayed, whether his recovery was spontaneous or should be credited to new drugs, etc. But I haven't read boo about whether there is really a pen ceremony or not. Or whether the movie includes actual facts about Nash that were not in the book.

There is always a problem with dramatizations, but when I saw the movie, I tended to assume that the basic outline of the basic facts was roughly accurate, e.g. that he did have an hallucinatory roommate with an hallucinatory niece, that he there was a specific moment at which he had to farewell to them, etc.

Something about this should be said in the main article, but at this point I'm not quite sure what. Thoughts? Dpbsmith 14:22, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, I went ahead and put what I hope is appropriate commentary in the article. Dpbsmith 12:42, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
P. S. I thought it the film was a beautiful and moving film, and that the book was one of the best biographies I've ever read. For the record, lest you think me a Gradgrind, I'm personally prepared to accept the film as being "truer than the facts." However, the film was so convincing that I assumed that the incidents in it were perhaps dramatized or embroidered, but not actually fictional. I believe that the makers of the film could and should have made that clearer than they did.

OK, how about a show of hands?[edit]

Just out of curiosity: I'd like a show of hands. How many of you assumed that the "pen ceremony" depicted in the film was an actual custom? Dpbsmith 12:58, 4 May 2004 (UTC) (Oh, by the way... I did. Dpbsmith)

I did. Seems like the strange sort of thing they might do to old professors.--Fangz 19:46, 8 May 2004 (UTC)
I feel cheated. - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 15:12, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

Separate book and movie[edit]

I'm surprised that when I came to this page, expecting to see an article about the book, I saw a page that is mostly about the movie. There should be separate articles about the book and the movie. This is usually what is done, and frankly, in this case, it should be done because of the confusion over the fictionalized John Nash (from the movie) which bears little or no connection to the biographical John Nash (from the book). --C S 20:00, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)

Agree, for both of the reasons you already list: it's usually done, and should especially be done in a case like this. --Iustinus 16:05, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Agree as well. The book could do with better coverage. --Salix alba (talk) 22:23, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Definetly. Just like To Kill a Mockingbird. 09:56, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

So we all seem to agree on the split. How shoule we do it should

  1. A Beautiful Mind be about the book and A Beautiful Mind (film) be about the film.
  2. A Beautiful Mind be about the film and A Beautiful Mind (book) be about the book.

I think I would go fro the second as there is much more information here about the film, the film is probably the most well know of the two.--Salix alba (talk) 10:55, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I say make it like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, i.e. a disambiguation page, with A Beautiful Mind (book) and A Beautiful Mind (film). Morshem 12:47, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't matter much, just split them.

Nature of the Hallucinations[edit]

The section that speaks about the fictionalization of the book omits a very important change regarding his schizophrenia: the movie portrays his hallucations as being visual. Like most schizophrenics, Nash's hallucinations were in fact aural. In other words, he heard voices; he didn't see things that weren't there. -- Zawersh 02:04, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man?[edit]

This was recently added:

Many key cast and crew members of A Beautiful Mind went on to participate in the making of the film Cinderella Man in 2005.

I have to say that looking at the credits on imdb, and , this is not at all obvious to me. In any case, I think the statement should be clearer and more specific. Which members are they?

  • DIrector: same, Ron Howard.
  • Star: same, Russell Crowe.
  • Rest of cast: NO OVERLAP AT ALL that I can see. Who, other than Russell Crowe, is in both?
  • Screenplay: Different writers.
  • Score: Different composers.
  • Cinematographer and director of photography: Different.
  • Art direction: Different.

The entire crew list is very long but I don't see any obvious overlap at all. Dpbsmith (talk) 11:28, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

See my recent additions to the Cinderella Man article for a full explanation. Also, Akiva Goldsman is credited on both for as screenplay writer; presumably after his success with a Beautiful Mind, he was brought in to help Cliff Hollingsworth adapt his story to the big screen. --Coolcaesar 11:55, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • OK, how about something like "The 2005 movie Cinderella Man bears a stylistic resemblance to A Beautiful Mind and involved many members of the same creative team"? "Cast and crew" just isn't right. (If the link links to the section that gives the details then they don't need to be spelled out.) Dpbsmith (talk) 12:42, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC) By the way, I'm no film buff but is this even an unusually close connection? It's not that unusual for producers and directors that have made a successful film to use some of the same people in subsequent films. It's not like the studio days when almost identical teams would crank out film after film... Dpbsmith (talk) 12:51, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I see your point---cast and crew was a poor choice of words on my part. Feel free to make the change. --Coolcaesar 02:21, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Won prize before being published?[edit]

Two quotes from the article:

"The book won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography"

"The biography, written by Sylvia Nasar, was published in 1999."

I admit, I am no expert at this, but I think it's pretty strange for the book to have won a prize before being published.. Is one of the dates wrong? Or am I just mistaking? --Dennis! 21:06, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Critics are sometimes allowed to read books/watch films before the offical release date. This could be the answer to this strange "pre-prize"... -- Imladros 02:36, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The book was published in 1998 by Simon & Schuster, so I'll correct the article right now. JuanOso 16:02, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Goldsman Interview[edit]

As part of my work removing linkrot, I've discovered that the interview quoting Akiva Goldsman on his screenwriting is no longer at the website. I'm removing the attribution and moving the text here in case anyone can find an alternate source. -- MatthewDBA 14:47, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman stated in an interview:

I was reasonably absurd in my approach. I don't know how to write a bio-pic and this was one of the best researched scholarly biographies I'd ever read. Instead I wanted to use my understanding of what I'd read with additional research to evoke the grander beats of John's life. I didn't want it to be literal. I wanted to take stab at the truth of John's life, but not by way of the facts.

Link rot should be removed; but the citation can exist, with a time\date reference — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 5 April 2006‎ (UTC)


Are all the depictions of Princeton University accurate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 13 January 2006‎ (UTC)

Barbara Bush quote[edit]

I put this text in the article:

  • A quote by former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush - "But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

It was editted out with the comment: 'remove quote from last edit, as its not a source of confusion in the term "a beautiful mind"'

The thing is that the term "beautiful mind" has gained some currency as a more generic term generally equivalent to "Let them eat cake"

see: [1] or this article for example [2] Could not a person be confused by that use of the term "beautiful mind"? Isn't confusion with the movie or book likely? Charles (Kznf) 13:28, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I edited the quote out because it didn't seem approrpiate for a dab page. Dab pages are navigation aids to get a reader from a common or ambiguous term to the actual article that were seeking. The question is: If someone types "a beuatiful mind" in the search box, what article were they trying to get to? In my mind, they were not looking for an article about Barbara Bush; they would have just typed "barbara bush" instead. What do you think? - grubber 17:49, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't discount the possibility out of hand. It's not that they would have seen that quote, or heard about it and would look it up, it's that they would have seen or heard an obscure reference to it [3] and would search for it here hoping for an explanation. I think the pertinent question is to what degree the term "beautiful mind" is used either as a derisive nickname for Barbara Bush herself, or is used to describe someone as callous and eliteist. I only know that in the liberal blog community, it is not an uncommon nickname or shorthand. Charles (Kznf) 18:38, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
It seems a bit obscure, but I suppose there is no harm in adding it. Maybe we could add it as a "See also", as in:
See also:
* Barbara Bush, once self-referenced as "a beautiful mind" in a famous quote
or something like that that fits with the format of a dab page? - grubber 21:19, 11 August 2006 (UTC)