A Beautiful Mind (2001)
What is it? Russell Crowe stars as John Nash, a brilliant mathematician whose life is derailed by schizophrenia. Jennifer Connelly is his wife, with Ron Howard directing.
Why did it win? Howard is respected and well-liked in Hollywood, and was an A-list director who had not yet had such a prestige project, so perhaps it was that time. The film also dealt with a disability - always an Oscar-baiting move - and took an unusual approach to the standard biopic, also a plus.
Did it deserve to win? One that causes arguments, this. The short answer is probably not, given that: a) if any of the Lord of the Rings movies deserved Best Picture, it was probably Fellowship; b) this was the year that Amelie was released (and not even nominated for Picture); c) as well as the far more entertaining Moulin Rouge! and more daring In The Bedroom. Don't you just wish they'd take a chance on something foreign / indie once in a while?
Worth a look? If you are a fan of Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly or Paul Bettany, or are wondering how the latter two met, sure. Otherwise, try Amelie instead.