Sometimes you need to change your shape
Dendy Brighton, 12/04 9:15am
Running time: 111m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: M (Mature themes and coarse language)
Release date: 09/04/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 9/10 (ME 4.5/5, DP 4.5/5)
Nathan Ellis (Asa Butterfield) is a socially awkward boy who, at the age of 9, experiences a trauma that will haunt him and his family for years to come. Flash forward 7 years and Nathan, under the guidance of his passionate but flawed maths tutor (Rafe Spall), is encouraged to enter the International Maths Olympiad to see his extraordinary mathematical ability as a wonderful gift. This is a film about autism, giftedness, grief, perseverance and one boy's personal struggle to discover what is really important in life.
The performances are superb with Sally Hawkins as Nathan's mother an obvious standout. Asa Butterfield is amazing as Nathan, struggling to find his way in a world that doesn't understand him. The supporting cast of young mathematicians are also very good as various quirks and insecurities are explored. The cinematography and editing deserve a special mention with a number of scenes that are truly breathtaking. The script is very tight and paints a picture with characters that are completely convincing and engaging. X+Y is being described as a comedy/drama, but it would be best described as a heartwarming and emotional drama that will stay with you long after the closing credits.
SPOILER ALERT: during a coffee after the film we were able to identify 16 significant plot similarities or character traits between X+Y and Paper Planes. It's a bit like Paper Planes for an adult audience (instead of a family audience) and you may find elements of this film quite familiar, but it is still very entertaining, original and enjoyable. Highly recommended... and take tissues. (ME)