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A Brilliant Young Mind (2014)

X+Y (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 11 September 2015 (USA)
1:29 | 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


True genius comes from opening your heart 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?


This is a project selected at 2013 Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum in Hong Kong. See more »


The announcer at the IMO says "Welcome to the 59th IMO". This will in fact take place in 2018. 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 »


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

A heart-wrenching film based on a true story
14 March 2015 | by jeffreyycheungSee all my reviews

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 '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.

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