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A Brilliant Young Mind (2014)

X+Y (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 11 September 2015 (USA)
2:05 | Trailer

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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.


Morgan Matthews


James Graham
4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Asa Butterfield ... Nathan Ellis
Rafe Spall ... Martin Humphreys
Sally Hawkins ... Julie Ellis
Eddie Marsan ... Richard
Jo Yang ... Zhang Mei
Martin McCann ... Michael Ellis
Jake Davies Jake Davies ... Luke Shelton
Alex Lawther ... Isaac Cooper
Alexa Davies ... Rebecca Dunn
Orion Lee ... Deng Laoshi
Edward Baker-Close Edward Baker-Close ... Nathan Ellis (9 yrs)
Percelle Ascott ... Ben Morgan
Suraj Rattu Suraj Rattu ... Pav Kamdar
Jamie Ballard Jamie Ballard ... Headmaster
Clare Burt Clare Burt ... Doctor


In a world difficult to comprehend, Nathan struggles to connect with those around him - most of all his loving mother - but finds comfort in numbers. When Nathan is taken under the wing of unconventional and anarchic teacher, Mr. Humphreys, the pair forge an unusual friendship and Nathan's talents win him a place on the UK team at the International Mathematics Olympiad. From suburban England to bustling Taipei and back again, Nathan builds complex relationships as he is confronted by the irrational nature of love. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Is there a formula for love? See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

N: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, a sexual reference, drug material and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

11 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Brilliant Young Mind See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,408, 13 September 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$139,511, 4 October 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of the filming locations was King Edward VII Upper School in Sheffield. See more »


When Nathan runs from the exam to the coffee shop, the shop exterior has a sign that reads "Umlimted" filter coffee or tea. See more »


Julie: When somebody says they love you it means they see something in you they think is worth something... It adds value to you.
See more »


References Beautiful Young Minds (2007) See more »


Written and performed by Keaton Henson
Published by Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd
Licensed courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

23 October 2014 | by CharlieGreenCGSee all my reviews

'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 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.

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