Thursday Movie Picks: Prodigy/Genius

Thursday Movie Picks is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week is all about prodigies and geniuses. I think I might have a hard time with the themes this year as my choices (like the others) are limited and I didn’t want to repeat movies. Here are my picks this week.

A Beautiful Mind – This is probably my favorite Russell Crowe movie to date. It was interesting to see how his mind worked, and how he ends up figuring out that he does have a condition and the choices he makes so that his talent doesn’t get compromised.

The Theory of Everything – A lot of people disliked this movie because there wasn’t so much science stuff that Stephen Hawking is known for. I did enjoy this movie and thought that both Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones gave wonderful performances.

Good Will Hunting – From the three movies, this is the one that mostly focuses on the results of the character's knowledge. Matt Damon was really good in this, and he had great rapport with Robin Williams.


  1. We matched up on Theory and Good Will Hunting. I almost went with A Beautiful Mind too. lol

  2. I also chose Theory of Everything and Good Will Hunting, I knew they'd be popular picks. Not seen A Beautiful Mind but it's also proving to be a popular choice this week.

  3. I'm one of those who was not fond of Theory of Everything finding it a trial to get through. I have to be honest and say that I wasn't that knocked out by Redmayne's work, I know I'm in the minority.

    You're other two picks, both popular today, I thought were wonderful films driven by both strong performances and direction. I particularly like Will Hunting.

    I found this week easier than last with so many choices I decided to winnow them down by doing a theme within the theme focusing on musical prodigies.

    The Legend of 1900 (1998)-In the year 1900 Danny Boodmann, a stoker (Bill Nunn) on an American ship discovers an abandoned baby left on board. Taking him in to raise as his own he gives him a long unwieldy name eventually shortened to 1900 as the pair live their life at sea. As 1900 grows his musical genius becomes apparent and he becomes the ship’s mascot. After a tragedy befalls Danny 1900 remains on board growing to manhood (where he is played by Tim Roth) never touching dry land but continuing to hone his skill (including a fantastic sequence where he plays a waltz during a storm at sea). In time he befriends Max, a trumpeter in the ship orchestra (Taylor Pruitt Vince) and it is through his reverie we learn 1900’s story.

    Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)-Starring Shirley Temple, one of Hollywood’s premier musical prodigies (in terms of dollars & cents THE musical prodigy) as the rich girl of the title. Barbara (that would be Shirl) on her way to boarding school is left to her own devices when her nanny is killed in an accident. Barbara unaware of this but not wanting to go to the school wanders the city until she becomes acquainted with and is taken in by a pair of down on their luck performers Jimmy & Jerry Dolan (Jack Oakie & Alice Faye). Thinking she’s an orphan and realizing that she’s a musical prodigy they put Barbara in their act as their daughter. Soon they hit the big time with their own radio show overseen by ad exec Margaret Allen (Gloria Stuart of Titanic fame) where they’re heard by Barbara’s widowed father who has been searching for her frantically. One of the better Temple vehicles with a first rate supporting cast, both Oakie and Alice Faye get several chances to strut their stuff, and no matter how you feel about her Shirley was a bundle of talent.

    Amadeus (1984)-Multi Oscar winning story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) and Antonio Salieri (an Oscar winning F. Murray Abraham) and how Salieri’s jealousy of Mozart’s genius lead to great tragedy for both. Amazing music, performances, set design and direction. An essential film.

    1. I haven't seen any of Shirley Temple's movies, might give Poor Little Rich Girl a go!

  4. I loved all of your picks! We have a pick in common, though. I love A Beautiful Mind!

  5. I've seen all 3 and I love A Beautiful Mind and Russell Crowe makes the film. Love Good Will Hunting especially Robin Williams but I a man not a fan of The Theory of Everything. I found it just meh and Eddie Redmayne as Hawking made me think of a Young Austin Powers:)

  6. I loved all of these! I also picked A Beautiful Mind and The Theory of Everything.

  7. A Beautiful Mind and Good Will Hunting are excellent. I really like both of those. The Theory of Everything, not so much. I don't mind that there wasn't much science to it. The problem is it sucked all the life out the relationship it was depicting. It was so dry and flat.

  8. I have yet to see these but after getting the recommendation of these from several already I added these movies to my watch list. Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend!

  9. Not seen any of these. Not really a Crowe or Redmayne fan but one day I will finally see Good Will Hunting.