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Film "A Brilliant Young Mind" focuses on teen with autism

September 11, 2015



"A Brilliant Young Mind," released Sept. 11 in theaters, is receiving mixed reviews for its somewhat weak character development but satisfying plot.

The film stars Asa Butterfield (of "Hugo") as a teen with autism, Nathan Ellis, who is picky about his food, rarely speaks to others, but brilliant in mathematics. Sally Hawkins plays his emotionally-fraught mother, and Martin Humphreys plays his math tutor, also a math prodigy, who is coping with multiple sclerosis.

Ellis travels with his tutor to Taiwan to train for the International Mathematical Olympiad, where Ellis is paired to train with a Taiwanese student, Zhang Mei (Jo Yang), who takes a liking to him. What makes the film unique is its exploration of how Ellis interprets reality with mathematics.

It is director Morgan Matthews' fiction-film debut. Matthews previously directed the documentary "Beautiful Young Minds," that focused on the training process for the British team competing in the 2006 International Mathematical Olympiad, so he is in familiar territory.

Read more about the film from the New York Times, LA Times and AV Club.