Cinema: Jennifer Connelly

A BEAUTIFUL MIND

Jennifer Connelly describes the woman she plays in A Beautiful Mind--Alicia, the wife of the brilliant, mad mathematician John Nash--as "forthright, gutsy, irreverent, a bit of a black sheep." Those qualities are certainly present in Connelly's luminous performance, but perhaps out of modesty, the actress doesn't mention her own shining, salient characteristic, which is intelligence of a particularly watchful kind.

It is a quality that has marked her career--even in something like 2000's Requiem for a Dream, in which she played a junkie allowing herself to be sexually degraded for a fix. Since Connelly, now 31, has been in movies since...

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