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News from Film Review
January 2002

Other stories: Hannibal & Satine Together



Josh Lucas's Beautiful Mind
Crunching numbers with Russell Crowe

Josh LucasAlthough many American celebrities cancelled press appearances at the recent Sitges International Film Festival in Spain due to the terrorist crisis, one actor who made the journey was Josh Lucas, the star of You Can Count on Me, American Psycho and Alive. He was on show in three of the Festival's showcased movies, Session 9, The Deep End and the super psychological adventure When Strangers Appear, so he obviously figured it made good PR sense to turn up.

But I wanted to know all the facts about working on the Russell Crowe film, A Beautiful Mind. Word-of-mouth is so strong on the Ron Howard directed bio-pic that Oscar's name is being bandied about again in Crowe's favour. A Beautiful Mind, based on the biography by Sylvia Nasar, tells the true story of John Forbes Nash Jr, a mathematical genius who made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim, before spiraling into the depths of depravity...

Lucas says, "It's an epic saga of an extraordinary life and Ron Howard depicts what it's like to be inside that level of intellectual genius. It was his incessant thinking that drove Nash into schizophrenia. The work he eventually got his [Nobel] prize for was done before he was 30 years old. Between the ages of 30 and 60 he attempted fixing his condition by finding the math equations in his head to determine what was real and false. That's how he cured himself, the only person ever to do so by using such a method."

Also starring Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly (as Nash's hard-pressed wife Alicia), Christopher Plummer and Judd Hirsch, Lucas plays an old rival who takes pity on Nash and helps him triumph over the tragedy.

Lucas called acting with Crowe "the experience of my career to date. Watching him get into his character – and suffering from extreme nightmares at night as a result because of that commitment – really impressed me. So did Ron Howard in what signifies a major change of pace for him and one I'm convinced will put his career on a new level. What else can I tell? It was the sort of film to work on you dream will come along if you are really lucky."

A Beautiful Mind opens in America in December to qualify for the Academy Awards, and in Britain in March 2002. Look out for a special Film Bytes feature on A Beautiful Mind, coming to the 'exclusives' section of this website soon!

Hannibal & Satine Together
Stars seek their pound of flesh

Nicole Kidman as Moulin Rouge's SatineAnthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman will star in The Human Stain, based on a Philip Roth novel set against the backdrop of the 1998 Clinton impeachment scandal. Directed by Robert Benton, who worked with Kidman on 1991's Billy Bathgate, The Human Stain takes place in a small New England town. An ageing Classics professor is forced to retire when his colleagues label him a racist. But the charge is untrue, and it leads to dramatic revelations about the professor, kept hidden for 50 years.

Shooting will begin in March from a script by Nicholas (Sommersby) Meyer. Roth's Goodbye, Columbus and Portnoy's Complaint were previously adapted with great success for the screen and with the dynamic duo casting Benton could have a major hit on his hands after the disappointments of Twilight and Nobody's Fool.


Wild Wild West babe Salma Hayek will star in the rock odyssey The Ground Beneath Her Feet to be directed by veteran film-maker Raoul Ruiz.

The film marks the first time a novel by Salman Rushdie, British author of the controversial book The Satanic Verses, will be adapted for the big screen. Naveen Andrews (The English Patient) is set to star opposite Hayek in the $25 million tale of a love affair between two Indian rock stars that spans several continents and decades. Ruiz and Rushdie co-wrote the screenplay that will be shot next spring in London and Hayek's native Mexico.

Audrey Tautou as AmelieDIRTY PRETTY AMÉLIE

Audrey Tautou, the star of Amélie, already the highest-grossing French hit in British cinema history, is set to make her English-language début in Dirty Pretty Things, a romantic thriller directed by Stephen Frears.

The story is set among London's invisible underclass of immigrant workers. After discovering evidence of a murder, a Nigerian night porter joins up with Turkish chambermaid Tautou, a Chinese busker and a prostitute to solve the crime. The script was written by Steve Knight, one of the creators of the hit game-show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

Just a taste of Alan Jones' extensive news section.
Read the full news pages every month in Film Review.

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