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Plot: A socially awkward teenage math prodigy finds new confidence and new friendships when he lands a spot on the British squad at the International Mathematics Olympiad. Runtime: 111 mins Release Date: 13 Mar 2015
To the makers of this film: THANK YOU (by LostMartian)
Let me start off with a disclaimer: I am an aspie. A mild aspie, but an aspie nonetheless. I can get very upset at times, at other times I can become very nervous, and am anxious a lot of the time. I write and I act for many reasons, but one of the biggest is that through those films I can express the things I otherwise can't bring myself to. I suppose that's why I'm writing this. The average perception of those on the spectrum is as follows: Weird, odd, sad, different. We're seen as someone to pity or someone who's an easy target for a joke. The media doesn't do us <more>
many favours either, with films tending to all stick to common stereotypes without every really looking underneath. At least, that's how it feels. X+Y is a film that looks underneath, and I love it for that. And yes, I'm aware it took nine lines until I actually started talking about the film, and for that I apologise. I'll try to make up for it I will admit, this film was sometimes hard to watch for me, and that some scenes hit very close to home. This film doesn't shy away from the truth, nor does it allow itself to be clouded by sentimentality. This film was directed by a documentary filmmaker, and you can tell; the film is involved, up close, personal, and always strives to convey the truth. Basically, this film gets it. I don't think I've felt as strong an emotional connection to a film in a very long time. The characters were beautifully written and performed by the stellar cast, but I feel a special mention has to be given to three of the actors in particular: Asa Butterfield, who portrays Nathan with such grace and skill, and captures the mannerisms and inner struggles of those on the spectrum brilliantly. The character is well written, yes, but I honestly can't imagine any other actor in the role. It is without a doubt the best performance of his career, and if he doesn't win SOMETHING for his role, I will be incredibly disappointed. He turns the character into a real person, a real person who just thinks and acts a little differently to everyone else. A real person who deserves to be treated as anyone else would, and not looked down upon. Words cannot describe how good he is in this film and I could say the same about the two others to come . Just wow. A great performance. Sally Hawkins, who portrays Nathan's mother Julie with such warmth, such heart and such believability. Not only does the film focus on Nathan alone, it also focuses on those he cares about, Julie in particular. She's someone who has sacrificed so much, and has had to care for her son on her own. She understands why Nathan doesn't want to hold her hand or talk to her, but understanding doesn't make it any easier for her to deal with, and still feels that she doesn't understand Nathan at all. Sally Hawkins, bravo. Finally, Jake Davies, who plays the character Luke. And honestly, I'm at a loss for words. I cried at most of the moments he was on screen: I cried out of recognition of both my younger self and of those I have met further up the spectrum than myself. I once knew someone just like Luke, and one scene in particular which involves a re-enactment of a famous comedy sketch almost felt like it came from real life. I was never really like Luke, but I've met plenty of people who are, and to see people like him represented in a film is brilliant. People like Luke Shelton exist in every school, and are all treated the same: bullied, and made fun of or belittled. It's not their fault that they insult people; they don't do it deliberately, they just don't understand how people can be offended. They don't read faces or hear speech patterns like the average person does, but that doesn't mean that people like Luke don't feel emotion themselves. They do, they really do. And Jake Davies conveys that brilliantly, and even manages to make us laugh a few times. I noticed I said "I'm at a loss for words" and yet managed to talk about his performance the most. Go figure. I forgot I was looking at actors; I just saw real people. As a side note, I adored every performance in the film, it's just that those three touched me the most .To the makers of this film: thank you. Just thank you. You have made an aspie who sometimes feels like nobody understands realise that people do understand. This film is just glorious, fantastic and truthful. People, spread the word! All must watch this! Make sure that X+Y doesn't get overshadowed, and make sure you go in knowing as little as possible. Don't watch the trailer like I did, because it gives away far too much.My favourite film of 2014, and one of my favourites of all time. A masterpiece, plain and simple.EDIT: Wow. Looked back on this review after a few months and was stunned by the amount of attention it got. Also was sorry to hear that a few people didn't like the film. Ah well. If this review managed to get a few more people to see the film, then that's grand. A few users have said some reviews misled them, and if mine was one of them, well then I'm sorry you were disappointed. Really, I am. It's a shame you didn't like it as much as I did, and it was never my intention to mislead. Basically, the above review still reflects how I felt when I first watched the film. If you didn't like the film, then I'm sorry. I still love X+Y. And if you don't...you don't. OPINIONS! Cue Seinfeld music and laugh-track as I slide away from my laptop
'I think I see the world differently to others' explains Nathan, played by Asa Butterfield. The distinction causing this however is that he is has been diagnosed with Autism, which passes the conclusion that he is socially awkward, shy and 'unique'.Although considered disabled, Nathan is a maths-prodigy. A self- confessed, algebra loving whizz at that. Because of his advanced capability in the subject, Nathan joins a high-school a few years early and placed under the teaching of Raff Spall's character, Mr Hutchinson. Heading into early stages of MS, Hutchinson explains to <more>
Nathan a competition that he did in his youth and recommends he should enter it - the International Mathematics Olympiad, a world- wide competition similar to sporting, but rather than strong muscles, strong brains.Chosen as one of the sixteen entries from the UK, he then joins a worldly-mix of other competitors in what is probably the most difficult children's test in the world.At this point you realize how the story is going to end, along with the regular clichés. But X+Y keeps you on toes and raises the grade to unexpected.Although X+Y is focused around maths, it doesn't matter. The subject could easily be replaced or removed and the film would hold strong by because in awe of the fundamental driven narrative. Put into cheesy maths terms X+Y is: Great casting + dramatic story + comedy - clichés success.Taking the on the central lead, Asa Butterfield Ender's Game stuns in the portrayal and authentically attaches us with emotion to his story. Co-starring as Nathan's mother, Sally Hawkins also gives a stellar performance.Crafted with flashbacks, X+Y is very much about the destination as well as it is the journey. Comparable to A Beautiful Mind, this too is a prodigy excellence and a charming feature from Morgan Matthews.
I always look at the rating of a movie here on IMDb before watching it. I guess I believe too much in its users' taste. Probably, I shouldn't do that. One perfect example is the movie I'm about to comment on now: an ordinary rate, 8, is very inappropriate, in my opinion, regarding to this movie. X+Y is a mild but powerful movie in the sense that it tells Nathan's story with no big emotions but always making us relate to him somehow, which is the best thing it could do. Most of us have a rather superficial idea about what it is to be "gifted", as if people like that <more>
were only highly smart but lacked "humanity" skills. However, this movies brings us a new perspective, not only on how gifted people deal with their emotional side, but especially on how the mathematics of life are unachievable to every human mind. Perhaps because life is the perfect prime number.
Excellent performances all round for this charming story concentrating on a family who have a son on the autistic spectrum. The characters are very believable and put in sterling performances. The youngsters especially are great. It gives an accurate insight into the world of autism from everyone's point of view. Sally Hawkins as the mother gets it totally right! Fine actress she is. I know it's early days, but I would like to see some Oscar nominations for this movie. I would like to give this movie a 10, but I feel the ending is somewhat too simplistic and almost Disney-esque <more>
'Happily Ever After' scenario. Autism isn't a one-size-fits-all condition, and people shouldn't come away with the idea that everyone with autism is a genius. The social awkwardness is portrayed beautifully as is the feeling of not fitting in and seeing the world in a way that's different to most people. I highly recommend this movie. The whole story about an International Math Competition is very engaging. You will wipe your eyes too!
I pre-ordered "X+Y" from the UK, not realizing it was being released in the US under a different name . This ended up being one of my favorite movies of this year, but I feel like many people will not give it a chance for several reasons, but mainly the subject matter."It" is a delicate petal to step around to a lot of people. Nathan is not the epitome of all people on the spectrum, he is unique and also based on a real person albeit loosely . You don't have to have any kind of "diagnosed condition" to understand the hardships portrayed in the film. His is <more>
not the only struggle, just the most emphasized.I must say that I was impressed with Asa Butterfield's portrayal of Nathan. Not many actors can convey emotions or thoughts without actually saying much of anything. When you feel empathy for a character, you know the actor is doing far more than just saying their memorized lines. That being said, everyone did a pretty good job bringing their characters to life.
A wonderful surprise, one of the best this year! (by paul_3-960-896774)
This movie came onto my radar because of the talent involved, I didn't really know what to expect, so I blindly went to see it.From the start this film pulls you in and pull on your heart- strings. Granted, I was jet-lagged when I saw it, which probably explained why I was teary-eyed for much of the film. The movie, is very much a character film. It tackles every aspect of Nathan's life and that of the people around him. The film manages to be a family drama, a coming of age movie with a dash of romance, and a comedy at the same time. It all seamlessly fit together and keep you <more>
captivated.The cast is out of this world. The group of young actors they chose is simply impressive because they are all so natural that it's easy to believe that they are the characters they're portraying. Asa Butterfield is wickedly talented and morphed into Nathan for the duration of the film.Morgan Matthews' background in documentary film-making has a huge impact on how realistic and natural the film feels. The film really shows a wide spectrum of teenagers, among the socially awkward, quirky, math prodigy children. He conveys a strong message by showcasing these kids as they are and not falling into common stereotypes.A Brilliant Young Mind is a gem that I would recommend to every one. I LOVED this film, it's touching and amazingly well made. @Wornoutspines
A Heart-warming Tale of Connection between Two Vastly Different Souls (by rjsf96)
'X+Y' is somewhat of a detour for its star and revelation, Asa Butterfield. He is already in popular demand, having been at the centre of Martin Scorsese's attention in 'Hugo' and the failed Young Adult fantasy adaptation 'Ender's Game'. It seems strange to me that Butterfield has forgone the realm of Hollywood Blockbusters to enter a profound and revealing Indie Drama. Consider me happy beyond measure.'X+Y' sees Butterfield play the intelligent, but autistic Nathan. He finds it extremely hard to form bonds, even with his own mother. Nathan never admits <more>
it, but we can tell that he blames her for the awful car crash that proved fatal to his father. Whom he had always shared a special connection. He finds he is able to maintain new friendships when he gains a place on the British Squad at the International Mathematics Olympiad. This gives Nathan newfound confidence and the attention of a girl on the opposing squad. Nathan understands Mathematics better than anyone, even his parents at the age of five. But he is not able to work out why he has an attraction to this girl, by the name of Zhang Mei played with keen spirit by Jo Yang. He diverts so much of his attention to her, that he finds it increasingly difficult to keep his mind focused on what matters most for his future.'X+Y' is the type of film that is all too rare to find in the cinema. When it finally does appear on the big screen, it lasts a week before it stops being shown. Therefore, if you are reading this then I am sorry, but at least you can pre order the DVD. I wish there were more films like this, with the same energy, style, charm, acting talent and intimacy. The movies would be a better place for it.The script for 'X+Y' is handled with care and delicately, so that every line shows the audience what rapt attention to detail the screenwriter paid to make sure it flows smoothly, even containing laughs and many heartfelt moments scattered throughout its brief runtime. The most marvellous thing of all is that 'X+Y' contains two romances and both of them feel genuine and make sense. They do not slow down the pacing and only highlight what a joy the film is to behold. The casting from Sally Hawkins to Rafe Spall plays a large part in selling the romance to the audience. Not only making them invest in it, but believe it as well. The music feels soft and tender, never overbearing always hitting the right notes on the nose. The cinematography is excellent and proves that films do not need CGI fakery to look splendid or gorgeous; I am looking at you Peter Jackson.'X+Y' may be ultimately too predictable, but at least it feels sweet and soothing, a truly lovely film to engage in and even shed a tear when it all ends. Hollywood simply does not make films like this anymore. Can you resist? Will you even want to try? I urge you to at least give 'X+Y' a chance, it deserves at the very least to be seen once.
A heart-wrenching film based on a true story (by jeffreyycheung)
I am not going to reveal any details about the film and I would highly recommend that you go to the cinema or get it on DVD to watch it yourself. I have the great honour to know this guy on whom the movie is based. We were having lunch and he told me that a director was going to shoot a film about him. That was more than two years ago in a Chinese hotpot restaurant in London where he took me. My friend could read the Three Kingdoms book and is fascinated with all the figures. He loves to play a game based on the Three Kingdoms. I felt quite embarrassed when he invited me to play and I said <more>
'I am sorry, I don't know how to play it'. He really is a genius and a role model. Days ago in 2015 he sent me a message telling me that the film was on now. Therefore I went to the cinema to watch this long waited film. To be honest, I was a bit suspicious about if Asa Butterfield was going to deliver this task of portraying my friend. But after watching it, I am totally convinced that he managed successfully. The acting in this film including all the leading and supporting actors and actresses is stunningly good. Watching the film all the way through was not an easy task for me and I found it really hard sometimes as it was quite reminiscing and upset for myself. Part of it also reminded me of the 'dark July' almost everyone in China has been through - the national matriculation tests to enter universities. Day and night we sat there trying to figure out all these maths, physics and chemistry questions. Nervousness, frustration, fear, upset. The questions of course were no where near those at the IMO, but the feelings we had back then was comparable to the contestants. The film centred on some very true aspects of real life, cruel but real. Either 0 or 1, no grey area. So where do I belong if I do not fit into either 1 or 0? Maybe the two limits of both Nathan and his mom do converge at a point and that point is love. It is very difficult to write a review without mentioning the details, perhaps I failed to convince people by writing this review, but the film will not fail you.
Fab film beautifully acted by all the cast. (by colinpelliott)
Lovely film and so many stunning performances, not just the main characters but all of the supporting cast. Encouraging to see so many good young actors coming through.The narrative is a bit predictable but none-the-less still enjoyable and believable, not least because of the naturalistic style of the acting, very real characters. Sally Hawkins was brilliant as the mother and Asa Butterfield is a star, his ability to convey so much through his eyes and facial expression or lack of it was brilliant for the character.Liked the scenes in Taiwan and got a good sense of Nathan's alienation <more>
and fascination with another culture, particularly its visual impact on him.The ending disappointed as it was almost suggesting Nathan was 'cured', I don't think this played true to the extent of his condition. Shame otherwise great stuff.