It’s a rare thing when you see all the principal participants in a film do their career-best work. But that’s what happens in A Beautiful Mind. And when you consider the careers of those impressive thing and that’s why it was so honoured at this year’s Oscar ceremony.Ron Howard made the transition from actor to director effortlessly and he has brought an assured sensibility to many movies across many genres, and has been one of the most reliable commercial directors of the last few decades.

His direction here exudes confidence and feels like a work of great distilation and refinement. Russell Crowe has moved through Hollywood in recent years like a supernova with his off-set antics almost eclipsing his acting career if he wasn’t such an extraordinary player himself. Here Crowe truly gets under the skin of his character and helps us identify with this complicated man. And then there’s Jennifer Connelly who has been a star in the making since she was a teenager in Labyrinth. She simple radiates off the screen and easily equals Crowe in what should have been a fairly standard role.

They are brought together by one of the most elegantly insightful screenplays in recent years from Akiva Goldsman. It tells the true life story of John Nash, a mathematician whose mind lends itself as easily to sanity as to genius. He is in pursuit of a breakthrough, the one unique idea that will make his name and change history.

While at Princeton, he hits upon a principle that has revolutionised mathematics and economics, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematical game theory. These principles are beautifully described in the film, as are the elements of his madness that almost cripple his heart and mind.

A Beautiful Mind is the best bio-pic in many years, with rare intellect, considerable taste and unusual warmth. A beautiful film indeed.

Available from for only $38.95, click here.

The Universal A Beautiful Mind Competition!

Thanks to Universal Home Entertainment, She Said and Total DVD have five copies of A Beautiful Mind to give away. If you want your chance to own this Oscar winning film, click click here.

Baz Lurhmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy Australian director Baz Lurhmann is if nothing else truly a man of vision. And now we have a chance to see his vision as it has extended across his first three groundbreaking films with the DVD box set of his so-called Red Curtain Trilogy.

Although it has become commonplace in Australian film today, the quirky comedic touch that Lurhmann refined with his first film Simply Ballroom was so effervescent and exhilarating when it premiered in Cannes that it had people dancing in the aisles. It drew on the balletic skills of Paul Mercurio and the acting abilities of a cast of Australian royalty.

Best of all it introduced a peculiar flavour of film, a quality that was uniquely Australian that blended both the ocker and the camp. His next film far exceeded Simply Ballroom in every department and dared take on the most famous work by the most revered writer of all time and give it a dazzling pop cultural spin.

Romeo + Juliet was awesomely adventurous, taking risks at every turn and turning on a young audience to one of the great works of literature with its breathless take on the Bard. It furthered the superstar status of Leonardo DiCaprio and thrived on its music video sensibility by meshing a rollicking soundtrack with Shakespeare.

It laid the path for his most triumphant film yet, the incendiary Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge dared revive the most reviled of all movie genres, the musical, and bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. It demanded much of its audience but delivered an astonishing sensual experience that owed more to Bollywood than the Hollywood.

And it finally made Nicole Kidman a superstar.

It’s easy to forget that director Baz Lurhmann has had such a short career, such is his status as one of the greatest directors alive. Open the curtain on this incredible collection and you’ll start to see why.

Available from Total DVD for only $92.95, click here.