Friday, 3 April 2015


On Thursday, I went to go and see the film X+Y with a couple of my friends after watching the trailer and thinking it looked pretty interesting! If you know me personally, you might know about my intense love affair for Maths... Yes, I really am that lame! But the second I heard that about this film, I begged my friends to go so off we did and today, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts about it.

To shamelessly steal a synopsis from BBC Films, one of the companies that helps to make the film:

"Preferring to hide in the safety of his own private world, Nathan struggles to connect with people, often pushing away those who want to be closest to him, including his mother, Julie. Without the ability to understand love or affection, Nathan finds the comfort and security he needs in numbers and mathematics. Mentored by his unconventional and anarchic teacher, Mr Humphreys, it becomes clear that Nathan’s talents are enough to win him a place on the British team competing at the highly revered International Mathematics Olympiad. Being part of a team and one which has a real chance of winning seems like it could change Nathan’s life forever. But when the team go to train in Taiwan, Nathan is faced with a multitude of unexpected challenges, not least the new and unfamiliar feelings he begins to experience for one of the Chinese competitors, the beautiful Zhang Mei. From England to Taipei and back again, this inspiring and life-affirming story follows the unconventional and hilarious relationship between student and teacher, whose roles are often reversed, and the unfathomable experience of first love – when you don’t even understand what love is."

I want to start this review by saying that I thought the cinematography of the film was absolutely stunning in some parts, although inconsistent throughout the film. We learn early on in the film that Nathan is sensitive to light so the scenes where this is shown were my favourite, especially the use of bokeh lights and the reflections around the traffic light footage. If you get a chance to see the film, look out for these moments because they're just honestly stunning!

Personally, I loved the character of Nathan (Asa Butterfield, otherwise known as Bruno from The Boy in Striped Pyjamas!) from the outset. After studying Autism in school, it has always fascinated me and I feel like the various ways that the spectrum are displayed in this film helped me to understand it a bit better.

However I think the actress who really stole the show for me was Sally Hawkins, who played Nathan's mother. I went into the film not expecting to like her since one of my friends said she had really annoyed her in Persuasion, but I thought she did an outstanding job portraying a mother struggling to understand her son without any support, whilst being shown no outward signs of love from him. Some of the scenes with her in absolutely broke my heart to watch and made me sympathise to anyone in a similar position.

Now, I would love to say this film was brimming with maths but sadly it wasn't, although I can see that that may have been in order to not alienate a non-mathematically-inclined audience. Sure, the film was based around a maths competition, but there were very few occasions where they were actually shown to be doing maths - good job I didn't take my calculator along like I had joked that I would! So if the mathematical nature of the plot is something that is putting you off watching this film, I wouldn't worry about that at all - the film is easily accessible even if you have very limited maths knowledge!

Without giving too much away, let's skip to the only real bit of this film that I didn't like - the ending. You know when the credits start to roll at the end of the film, there are always at least a few people who jump up right away and leave as soon as they can? Everyone in the room stayed sat down for at least a minute or two. My friends and I were the last to leave. It ended very very abruptly, so much so that we joked that the cinema had just cut to the end because they wanted to close soon. None of us were expecting it to end at the point that we did and it sort of ruined the whole film for me, just because I would have loved to have at least a little bit more closure... You're left wanting to know a lot more about some of the characters that you see in the film by the ending - now I know how Hazel Grace felt reading An Imperial Affliction!

So in short, this film had me laughing out loud, cringing a lot in a certain few scenes and tearing up in others. I felt like it brought a lot more to the table than I thought it would and I really loved it - up to the point that it ended. Give it another half an hour of screen time and it may have reached into my list of top 10 favourite films, however the ending just spoiled it too much for me.

X+Y was released in cinemas back on March 13th so it has probably left most cinemas since then but were any of you fortunate enough to catch it? What did you think about it - especially the ending? Let me know!


  1. Ooh I've never thought about going to see X + Y but I definitely want to after your review. Always a good sign when a film makes you feel all different emotions. Great review lovely :)


    1. Thank you! I'd never even considered doing a film before but I felt like I needed to with X+Y, would definitely recommend it! x

  2. I definitely want to go and see x + y now! I wasn't too sure but after reading your post I'm going to do my best to see it soon :)

    Carolyn x
    Carolyn’s Simple Life

    1. I'm not sure it's out still in many cinemas now but it's worth catching if you can! x

  3. I haven't seen X+Y but I know what you mean about abrupt endings! One time when I went, I could have sworn they just were over budget and were like, "Yep, that'll do." My friends and I talked the rest of the way home how it SHOULD have ended!
    Meg of An Affair of Character

    1. That's basically what me and my friends were saying on the way home - we were even joking that our cinema (a small, independent one) needed to close soon so they had just skipped to the end haha! x

  4. I really want to see this film, I'm glad you warned about the abrupt ending! I hate when films just end and you leave the cinema and have to come up with your own ending for the film! Once I watched a film (it's called Prisoners, it's really good you should watch it if you haven't although a tad scary/gory in some scenes but not really) and it had such a cliff hanger ending I was so frustrated!x


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