Both pi and A Beautiful Mind are films about a superior mathematician with mental disorders and severe social problems. Both of these characters obsessively pursue a revolutionary break-through, each of which have to do with economics. Both Max and Mr. Nash (Max from pi, Mr. Nash from A Beautiful Mind) draw all over their newspapers (in the same way sometimes), and both films are filled with "paranoid sequences" -in which you don't know if that person on the screen is really following the math-man or if it's just being made to seem that way, through the eyes of the mad-man. Both main characters suffer from schizophrenia and hallucinate. Both films boast mathematicians named "Sol" (spelled the same way, I checked the credits (!)) and feature the ancient chinese board game "go". Coincidence? I think not!

1) pi's Aaronofsky copied Sylvia Nasar's book
2) A Beautiful Mind copied Aaronofsky's pi
3) The stories were created seperately, and the films compliment each other by putting in references, in respect to the fact that they are so similar in many ways.

As pi was released 3 years before A Beautiful Mind, it seems that A Beautiful Mind would have had to have either stolen or refered to ideas from pi. However, one must remember that A Beautiful Mind was first a book by Sylvia Nasar, which was released in the same year. So if all of the writers are trying to claim credit, one can't be sure where the ideas originally came from.

I know A Beautiful Mind is based on a true story. But that doesn't mean much, because the film may be quite different to the book. Sometimes I think it's just coincidence, but other times I feel that not only were some of the details similar, but the whole mood and atmosphere as well. Similar except that A Beautiful Mind was far more smoothed over and hollywood-ised, whereas pi was a bit more artsy and trippy (I loved them both though). Kind of figures, actually, that pi won best director at the Sundance Festival and A Beautiful Mind won best picture at the Oscars.

Also, I can't shake this from my mind: I can't help but remember what someone once told me was the explanation for the similarities between Antz and A Bug's Life. I was told that about a year or so before the release of A Bug's Life, one of the main directors of the company left Pixar for Dreamworks, bringing many unhatched ideas with him. Perhaps someone had a sharing-is-caring approach to certain Aaronofsky scripts.