Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Brilliant Young Mind 2014

     Nathan Ellis has difficulty connecting with other people and processing the changes in his life.  His father was killed in a car accident when he was nine years old and this has left a huge gap in his life.  His mother, Julie Ellis tries very hard but she doesn’t understand math.  Nathan is more comfortable with numbers than people.  Mr. Humphreys is one of the teachers at Nathan’s school and he agrees to take Nathan on as a math pupil.  Nathan wins a place on the UK team to attend the International Mathematics Olympiad.  He goes with a group of sixteen other math whizzes from England to Taipei for a summer camp.  In Taipei, he will work with Chinese math students so both groups can hone their skills.  Only six students will be selected from each country to attend the Olympiad so the stakes are high.  Nathan has trouble interacting with the other students and Taipei is a sensory overload for his system.
     When Nathan goes to the summer camp, you really wonder how he is going to set aside his food needing to be prime numbers.  He also needs to eat at certain times of the day.  He starts studying the language of Taipei on the plane and he’s as soon as good at this as he is in math.  Nathan finds it hard to believe that other students do not bully the math teens in Taipei because they are ‘different?’  Nathan faces constant bullying in England.   This film is an interesting study in material that has been covered in other films about excelling in one field but having problematic social maturity.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

111 min, Drama directed by Morgan Matthews with Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Jo Yang, Martin McCann, Jake Davies, Alex Lawther, Alexa Davies, Orion Lee.

Note:  Imdb 7.2 out of 10, 86% critic 78% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 380 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England and Taiwan.  This film is based on Daniel Lightwing and his story as a teen and as a mathematician.

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