December 23, 2001 8:57am EST
An Internet reporter claims the Golden Globe-nominated film A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe deliberately leaves out gay themes present in the biography on which the film is based. The Sylvia Nasar novel chronicles the life of Princeton mathematician John Nash, played by Crowe, and includes many references to Nash's implied bisexuality, including his 1954 arrest for indecent exposure and making sexual advances to a man in a public bathroom. According to PlanetOut, one GLAAD executive said, "It's rather alarming in this day and age that Universal Studios and DreamWorks would find same-sex love too offensive to be depicted in a major motion picture." Ironically, Crowe played a gay Australian football player hunting for a boyfriend in the 1994 film The Sum of Us.
Photographic stills from the second Harry Potter film were reported stolen Saturday from a locked room at Leavesden Studios north of London where the film is being shot. Warner Bros., the production company behind Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, warned the media not to use the stolen pictures, but would not comment any further, AP reports.
Scottish authorities have registered an original blue, yellow, white and purple plaid tartan pattern with the Scottish Tartans Society Register to honor Madonna in thanks for the publicity they say she has brought to the Scottish Highlands, The Associated Press reports. The Scotland Tourist Board has reported a rise in the number of couples spending romantic holidays in Highland castles since Madonna and British film director Guy Ritchie tied the knot at Skibo Castle in Dornoch, Scotland, last year.
The film company which set a house on fire as part of rapper Eminem's upcoming movie 8 Miles has agreed to raze the abandoned house and two others at a cost of $20,000 and make a donation to the municipality that is located within Detroit. According to AP, residents of Highland Park thought the filming of a burning building would glorify a month-long arson spree that has already left many burned-out homes in the neighborhood.
Cowboy Pictures has picked up U.S. rights to the documentary Promises and is planning an aggressive grassroots push via Jewish and Arab organizations across the country, Variety reports. The picture portrays life in and around Jerusalem through the eyes of Palestinian and Israeli children who live 20 minutes apart but exist in separate worlds. The film is scheduled for release in March 2002.
Exorcist director William Friedkin and screenwriter William Peter Blatty are suing Warner Bros. and accusing the studio of copyright violations and fraud in last year's re-release of the 1973 horror film. Blatty and Friedkin claim Warner Bros. made false statements, including identifying the studio as the film's author. They also claim they were not compensated for the 2000 version of The Exorcist and that the studio failed to register the film as a derivative of the original, AP reports.
Although a civil court jury found on Friday that Hard to Kill star Steven Seagal made defamatory statements about a woman who worked with him on a recording project, they declined to award her damages, AP reports. Patricia Nichols claims the actor directed inappropriate comments toward her and falsely accused her of embezzling from the production company. She plans to appeal.
Antiques dealer Russell Pritchard pleaded guilty Friday to swindling the family of Confederate General George Pickett and staging phony televised appraisals on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Pritchard also admitted to buying relics at artificially low prices from the descendants of Civil War officers and selling them for large profits to private dealers after assuring the families that they would go to a museum, Reuters reports.
A Massachusetts District Court judge sentenced a 17-year-old arrested for possessing a marijuana pipe to listen to Afroman's "Because I Got High," AP reports. Judge Nancy Dusek-Gomez told the teen Wednesday to listen to the "stupid rap song" and pay particular attention to the line, "Now, I'm a quadriplegic and I know why/Because I got high." The judge continued the sentence for six months and said she would dismiss misdemeanor alcohol and drug charges if he completes a report on the song and stayed away from liquor and drugs.
The film spans the life of John Nash (Russell Crowe)-from mathematical prodigy to delusional schizophrenic to Nobel Prize winner. We first meet John in 1948 and he is entering Princeton University as a graduate student. He rarely goes to class and calculates his mathematical theories on dorm room and library windows. Most of his colleagues steer clear of him except his roommate Charles (Paul Bettany) who tries to lighten him up. John eventually closes in on a hypothesis for an economic theory and becomes a star in the math world. He lands a prestigious position at MIT meets his wife Alicia (Jennifer Connelly) and consults for the Pentagon cracking impossible codes no one else can. He meets William Parcher (Ed Harris) a CIA agent who brings John in on a top-secret government operation to catch Russian spies--or so we think. Unbeknownst to those around him Nash's "beautiful mind" is descending into madness and his grip on reality is fading. Alicia gets him psychiatric help but the drugs and shock therapy dull him so senselessly it's painful to watch. All Nash wants is his mind back so he begins to fight his illness on his own terms. Through the years John's delusions don't necessarily go away but he learns to deal with them sanely. More importantly in Nash's later life he finally gains the respect and admiration he deserves from his peers.
We all know the man can act but Crowe is truly a wonder in this film. He really gets under Nash's skin having obviously studied the real-life mathematician's movements and mannerisms carefully. From Nash's walk to the twitches of the mouth to the eyes that never stop moving he fleshes out a character that melds perfectly with the real Nash. Crowe shows us the horror of being locked in a mind that works brilliantly yet won't let him see things normally. It's a tour de force performance and one richly deserving an Oscar. The other standout in Mind has to be the stunning Connelly. Over the years she's quietly been turning in stellar performances in such films as Requiem for a Dream and Pollock but as Nash's beleaguered wife Alicia she finally gets to shine. At times you are wondering what the heck a beauty like her sees in the weird Nash but Connelly convincingly portrays a woman in love with a man whose mind is great if troubled. Witnessing her torment and anguish over her husband's debilitating illness was moving. In the supporting roles both Harris as the hardened agent and Bettany (so good in this year's A Knight's Tale) as Nash's unconventional friend are also excellent.
A Beautiful Mind quite possibly could be the best thing Ron Howard has ever directed. Not to say he hasn't helmed some very good films such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Apollo 13 but Howard has done things in this movie he's never done before. In delving into the mind of a paranoid-schizophrenic he doesn't simply show us a crazy person but lets us experience the madness right along with Nash. Also much like Good Will Hunting Howard makes calculating impossible mathematical problems exciting especially when we are looking at the numbers from Nash's perspective. It seems Howard has matured in his directing style. The film was lush to look at where he uses shadows and light in an amazing way. The script based on a book by Sylvia Nasar was brilliant as well. A great scene has Nash who isn't sure if who he's seeing is real or not turn to a student and ask "Do you see that person there?" When the answer is yes he replies "Good. I'm always wary about people I don't know." The only drawback is the film could have been about a half-hour shorter but no matter. 'Tis the season for 2½ hour movies.