Question re "A Beautiful MInd" -- Possibly spoilers?

Okay, I tried to watch ‘A Beautiful Mind’ when it was on broadcast tv recently…and fell asleep, missing a good-sized chunk.

I know the ‘big spoiler’) but what I don’t grok is the significance of the scene near the end where the hero and the university guy are sitting at a dining table and everyone starts coming over and giving(?) him their pens. Huh?

Can anyone explain just that? (Yeah, I could rent the movie, but like I said, it put me to sleep the first time…)

It’s something they made up for the movie; when all the professors want to recognize somebody for doing something incredibly cool, they give him their fountain pen. They hadn’t ever done it for the main character.

At the beginning of the film, the Judd Hirsch character explains to John Nash (Russell Crowe) that at Princeton there is a tradition where the other scholars give a pen to someone who has won a Nobel prize.

So, the scene was just bringing the movie’s plot full circle.

They don’t have such a tradition at Princeton BTW.

The whole movie wasn’t much more reality-based than “Lord of the Rings”, frankly. A bit more, but not a lot.

Okay, thank you very much.

So, right at the beginning, eh? I must have been drifting in and out earlier than I’d realized. :frowning:

(Not completely the movies fault, I’d been doing extra shifts and the sleep debt was mounting.)

Probably within the first half-hour or so, not really quite at the very beginning. Basically it takes place as Nash’s final year is coming close and he’s not yet submitted any thesis. The scene with his mentor showing him the tradition is intended to motivate Nash to start producing something for publication.

In the plot it takes place immediately before he has his epiphany.

I don’t blame you for falling asleep. I thought the movie was awful.

Have you read the book? I thought the biography of the same name was ten times better then the movie.

I’m still trying to convince Jennifer Connelly that her husband is imaginary, but so far she has rejected that argument.


I thought the movie was great (even though it was almost totally fictionalized). It was the book that was mind-numbingly boring to me. Just my opinion of course.

I hated the movie and that pen crap is a great summary example as to why - it takes a rich interesting story of a complex, difficult man and transforms it via Ron Howard’s “highbrow cinema” equivalent of a John Hughes teen-movie slow-clap finale for the loser who gets the girl. What a tool.

The fact that he used such a great book - sorry LorieSmurf have to disagree with you there - and just…raped it for a fluff-piece movie - makes it all that much worse.

Oh, and I should say: I actually like John Hughes movies - they are unapologetically shooting for a specific target that they hit very well (a bunch to, anyway). John Hughes deserves far more respect that Ron Howard - about the only movie of his I found even remotely tolerable was Apollo 13.