National Alliance on Mental Illness
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What NAMI Members Are Saying About A Beautiful Mind
Winner of 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture
William Spies (Ohio)
"Schizophrenia was normalized in this movie . . .a life experience that someone went through. The audience could identify with the experience…I have paranoid schizophrenia just like John Nash. I was at an Ivy League College when it struck . . .I did not do Nobel Prize work like he did. But who knows, I still may . . .The differences between [our] experiences are idiosyncratic, the similarities profound…This movie is a historic step towards inclusion of people with mental illness in normal life. I recommend it to anyone who lives with mental illness, has family members or friends with mental illness, or who just want to learn more about this real, but often misunderstood life situation."
Charles Feldman (Rhode Island)
"The beauty of the movie is that we were drawn into John Nash's mind without realizing we were experiencing his delusions. The movie sensitively portrayed how real delusions are to the person experiencing [them]. It also showed that delusions aren't necessarily horrifying and violent, but can be gentle and loving as well…The movie gave a welcome perspective of mental illness and people living with mental illness. It showed that people with mental illness can and do contribute to society…I have been living with manic depression for over 30 years…I have been happily married for 30 years . . . A Beautiful Mind hit home."
Sandra Thompson (Minnesota)
Patrick E. Bruckart (Virginia)
"A great movie. A great actor. A great director."
Mary V. Sloan (Georgia)
"A Beautiful Mind will go a long way in educating the public about schizophrenia. It was sensitive, fair, and balanced. Also well acted. My thanks to Ron Howard and Russell Crowe. I'm recommending it to friends and relatives."
NAMI Family Member (California)
"I am bipolar and a masters student in psych counseling. The movie was fantastic. Ron Howard and Russell Crowe should both be commended for putting such a complicated subject onto the screen…The film was made in such a way that early hallucinations seem real even to the audience . . . I've been extremely paranoid before and so his paranoia was frightening to me . . . John Nash's story is both sad and inspiring. The movie will help to bring a deeper awareness of schizophrenia and other major mental illnesses to the general public."
Tara E. Moorman (Hawaii)
"As NAMI family members, father, mother and sister, we were delighted to see such an incredible treatment of the subject of schizophrenia in the media. The movie is riveting, poignant, and informative to the general public…A great leap has been made for consumers who are recovering from this devastating disease Our son was diagnosed in 1986 . . . New medications have been miraculous."
Bill and Eleanor Griffin (South Carolina)
"I was crying by the end of the movie . . . enjoyed seeing Alicia's support of John. I enjoyed the way they portrayed the hallucinations . . . Princeton was good for him . . . the fact that an Ivy League institution will allow [a person with schizophrenia] to utilize their facilities, and ultimately have him on their research staff, hopefully that will set an example for others."
Cathy Novick (Massachusetts)
"Never before have American audiences seen such a powerful portrayal of mental illness, in which the person with the illness also is the hero…Ten years ago, working in Congress, I handled issues that included terrorism and aviation security. Like Nash, I had a top-secret clearance. One day, I slipped into a psychotic episode. Black Chevy Suburbans tried to run me down as I walked my dog. Political opponents bugged my office. Terrorists were intent on bombing an airplane. Just like the movie, my family and colleagues were confused and uncertain-because given my job, some of the scenarios seemed plausible. Mental illness is not beautiful. But people are. Hard facts do not lessen individual dignity, eternal hope, and the triumph of recovery. The movie's message about mental illness is universally relevant. Even in the face of terrible tragedy, extraordinary things are possible."
NAMI Consumer Member (Virginia)
"I loved this film. I am the mother of 36-year-old son who has schizophrenia and the daughter of a man who also had the disease."
Louise Loots Thornton (California)
"A beautiful film, a magical blend which unfolds one reality while capturing the extremely believable alternative reality which existed solely in the mind of Nobel Prize winner John Nash . . . A must see for anyone who might have any contact with any of us who live with mental illness . . . I was first diagnosed bipolar in 1988. Symptoms first appeared in 1982."
Bob Bennett (Nevada)
"It was good to see a portrayal of the disease in which the passage of time is a friend rather than an enemy. We take from [it] some small element of renewed hope that…ultimately a cure might be feasible. With that thought held firmly in our hearts, we persevere to get through each difficult day after each difficult day. This existence is simply an unending series of crises and heart-wrenching decisions…This movie gives a small and palatable dose of the reality of schizophrenia as we know and live it-enough that our friends might come to a glimmer of what our son experiences, yet not so close as to be too intense for the uninitiated to absorb."
Elliot and Ann Rachlin (Arizona)
"A Beautiful Mind may be the most significant movie of the year. We have a 42 year old son who was diagnosed with childhood schizophrenia . . . We were told that he would only grow worse and that he would wreck our home if he were permitted to live with us. So, he was placed in special schooling at the age of 15th and has not lived with us on a permanent basis since. He has not grown worse. He works and drives a car . . . he does maintain his position in society."
John C. Bradford (Delaware)