Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were films that were superior in terms of quality and/or impact that were not nominated). This week’s entry is A Beautiful Mind (2001).
Ron Howard may be among the most white bread directors out there but A Beautiful Mind somehow managed to be at least slightly different from most biopics. Sure, its got its Oscar acting moments and makes sure to stop at all the major points in John Nash’s life up to the point the movie was made with plenty of time to remind us exactly why he’s important, but I was expecting it to be so by the numbers and just like every other prestige biopic that the way it depicted Nash’s mental illness caught me off guard and made the film vastly more interesting than it otherwise would’ve been. Otherwise, it’s mostly forgettable and easily falls into the legions of Best Picture winners that wouldn’t be notable had they not won the award.