Wednesday, October 7, 2015

[Review] A Brilliant Young Mind

The title-y challenged X+Y, now released in the US as A Brilliant Young Mind (which isn't much better, since it sounds awfully close to another film about a genius, A Beautiful Mind), is also bland and unengaging.

It revolves around Nathan (Asa Butterfield), who is a mathematical mastermind, and his relationship (a non-nasty one) with his constantly stressed and agitated teacher Mr. Humphreys (Rafe Spall). He gets accepted to a prestigious math squad, in which they'll travel to Taiwan to train. Meanwhile, his mother Julie (played by the always great Sally Hawkins) develops a thing for Mr. Humphreys. But Asa, still reeling from the death of is father, isn't having it.

The slow pace, lack of aim, and the fact that--for most people--math competitions aren't really something to get fired up about (a big apology to any of my former math teachers that might be reading this) prevents the film from sparking major intrigue. Just when you think things might pick up (an hour in), those plot strands don't particularly amount to anything. And unlike this year's chess thriller Pawn Sacrifice, the story actually depends a bit on your interest in the subject at hand.

There might have been potential for a good movie in here somewhere, but the formula is wack.


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