X + Y
Director: Morgan Matthews
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Jo Yang
Genre: Comedy Drama
Country of Origin: UK 2014 111 mins
Released by KOCH MEDIA
'Utterly compelling, superbly acted, wonderful cinema.'
'X+Y' has a feel-good touch. Compelling, superb cinematography and an outstanding cast. Blow the trumpet. It's deserved.
Nathan (Asa Butterfield) has mild autism and lives in his own private world and has has a passion and talent for mathematics. His is a world of logic and reason. There's no understanding of love or affection something that his mother, Julie (Sally Hawkins) can't get to grips with and she remains sidelined in his thoughts. Life's more logical and structured with his brilliant, unconventional and anarchic teacher, Mr Humphreys (Rafe Spall), who recognises Nathan's unique talent and puts him forward for the British Team at the International Mathematics Olympiad led by Richard (Eddie Marsan). It's goodbye safe suburbia and hello Taiwan where Nathan's faced with a multitude of challenges and emotions not least the new and unfamiliar feelings he begins to experience for one of the Chinese competitors, Zhang Mei (Jo Yang).
'X+Y' holds you with ease for the full 111 minutes. The cast are outstanding with bravuro naturalistic performances. Asa Butterfield brilliantly conveys Nathan's bewilderment and terror of his locked world. Rafe Spall, the off-the-wall mathematics tutor can easily steal the screen, Eddie Marsan shines as ever and Sally Hawkins, Nathan's caring and loving mother Julie is outstanding. Add on James Graham's script and Martin Phipps score which are spot on and Danny Cohen's cinematography capturing mood and place and you've got a winner.
Will it be selected screenings? Probably, but I hope not. If anyone thinks that a film about a mathematics prodigy with mild autism isn't interesting, they're wrong. 'X+Y' is superb cinema.