A Beautiful Mind Analysis

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Can I borrow a phrase — actually, a book title — from Ebert and say I hated, hated, hated this movie? Oh my god, she said, banging her head against the table in frustration and exasperation, is there anything that makes you want to scream more than a film that’s this full of its own gravity and import? All the long, quiet, contemplative shots of The House shrouded in Fog… all the long, quiet, contemplative shots of Jennifer Connelly, beautifully disintegrating… all the long, quiet, contemplative shots of Ben Kingsley, morose and determined… It’s been ages since I so longed to throw something at the screen. Maybe the book upon which the film is based, by Andre Dubus III, is fine — Oprah liked it, after all. Maybe the horrendously overwrought melodrama is unique to the film, this feeling that first-time director Vadim Perelman (who also wrote the screenplay, with Shawn Otto) took the barest of slim tales and inflated it into something he believes is Meaningful and Serious, that he so longs for you to see as weighty with significance. The facts of the story certainly seem as if they’d lend themselves to something intriguing. Through a clerical error, Connelly’s (Hulk, A Beautiful Mind) Kathy Nicolo loses her house to the county. It’s only a small, rundown bungalow in Northern California, but her…show more content…
If only Perelman had just let the tale play itself out without feeling the need to go over it with a highlighter, marking all the Important bits for us so we wouldn’t miss them… as if we would have. Instead of trusting us to understand the metaphors behind the literalness, Perelman makes the metaphors so literal that we can’t believe them. And so all the detail — which we’re meant to see as ironic, all the little things that add up to terrific tragedy — are so overblown that they become

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