X plus Y (2014)

X plus Y (2014)


Is there a formula for love?

A socially-awkward maths genius discovers his confidence in this comedic UK drama starring Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game), Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) and Academy Award-nominee Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine).... More

This is director Morgan Matthews' dramatic debut, from a story inspired by his own 2007 documentary Beautiful Young Minds.Hide

Flicks Review

It’s the little things that make characters feel real in James Graham’s X+Y script, which portrays autistic hero Luke as a person, rather than a pick-n-mix of “disabled genius” clichés. As the math-obsessed, socially awkward teen, who confesses to seeing the world “differently”, Asa Butterfield is superb. Following the death of his dad, Luke is inspired by his MS-suffering math tutor, (a suitably cynical Rafe Spall), to compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad (an Olympics for math - who knew?). As Luke’s long-suffering mum, Sally Hawkins conveys subtle grace as he rejects her touch, or demands his Chinese take-away contain a prime number of prawn balls.... More

Morbid sentimentality is avoided, thanks to liberal helpings of hope and humour, provided largely by Spall, whose wry wit acts as a defence against his debilitating disease. Hope lies in the possibility that Luke’s lonely mother and tutor have a shot at happiness, as do Luke and the Chinese prodigy he meets at a Taiwanese math training camp. Thrown in with numbers nerds, Luke is just another geek. As Nathan, a fellow autistic competitor, warns: “It’s alright being weird, as long as you’re gifted. But if you’re not gifted, all that leaves is weird.”

As the narrative heads to the Math Olympic finals, director Morgan Matthews avoids Hollywood highs in favour of down-to-earth domesticity. It’s brave to be so simple, and rewarding to see such subtlety. As Luke’s mum tells him: “I like you – more than ice-cream.” I liked X+Y. As much as any ice-cream. It’s refreshing, delightful stimulation for heart and mind.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY GDAldridge superstar

Wow - great performances. Good story. Highly recommend this.

BY smileyface superstar

An apt description for some of those people that are not part of 'mainstream' is flawed genius because there is talent waiting to be uncovered. This movie gently underlines a few of the issues that people, who are amazingly talented, have to deal with day by day. Got caught up with the emotional aspects when you see the bullying, self mutilation, acting out, and full range of sensitivities depicted here. Worth seeing.

BY Gaspardation superstar

Real Chinese girls would never put out that easily. Too cliche and west-oriented.

The Press Reviews

100% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • The film's magic is how it slips the skin of sappy and mendacious formula, stepping away from cliché scene by scene, and in quietly revelatory ways. Full Review

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