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A Brilliant Young Mind, is a 2014 British drama film directed by Morgan Matthews starring Asa Butterfield , Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins .

who won a silver medal at the 2006 IMO.

The European premierewas at the BFI London Film Festival on 13 October 2014,and the UK cinema release was on 13 March 2015.

The film heavily features previously recorded songs by Keaton Henson .

Nathan Ellis, a 9-year-old math prodigy, has just lost his father in a car accident. Nathan is diagnosed as autistic early in the film, but strangely, his father was the only one who was able to connect normally with him. Although Nathan values his mother, Julie, he shuns any physical contact with her and treats her as more of a caretaker than a parent. Wanting to make sure Nathan isn’t distracted from his studies, Julie enrolls him in advanced classes at a new school. There, he comes under the tutelage of teacher Martin, also a math genius, who now suffers from multiple sclerosis. Martin sees himself in Nathan, once a promising young mind in the field of mathematics, who gave it all up once he was diagnosed with his illness.

Seven years later, Martin is preparing Nathan to compete for a place in the International Mathematical Olympiad, a prestigious high school competition consisting of the world’s best young mathematicians. This year, it is to be held at Cambridge, after a two-week math camp in Taiwan where the students will study for the test that determines the winners. Nathan fears he’s not good enough to qualify but ends up doing well enough to accompany 15 other British teenagers to Taiwan.

Suddenly thrust out of his comfort zone, Nathan finds himself no longer the smartest math whiz in the room, and his social anxieties nearly paralyze his performance. He has trouble reading the social cues of others and flinches at the slightest physical contact with another person. Nathan is paired with a female Chinese student, Zhang Mei, who slowly helps him adjust to his new surroundings and helps him fight through his fears. By the skin of their teeth, Nathan and Zhang make the cut to compete in Cambridge.

Back in England, Zhang stays with Nathan and his mum, who’s shocked to find that his behavior has transformed into something more normal. She becomes aware that he may have feelings for Zhang, which she asks him. Not fully understanding the concept of love, Nathan is unsure how to express his feelings. He keeps his emotions bottled up as they all travel to Cambridge and settle in for the Olympiad.

Things quickly unravel when Zhang’s uncle catches her in Nathan’s room one morning and mistakenly accuses them of being in an intimate relationship. This causes Zhang to withdraw from the competition and leave. Nathan, who now believes he loves Zhang, is torn between her and the Olympiad. When he sits down among hundreds of other students around the world for the exam, the first question triggers memories of his dead father, which combined with his newly lost love, creates an emotional overload. At the pinnacle moment of his mathematical career, Nathan must make a decision whether to stay and pursue his dream, or give into the pain that’s haunted him for most of his life.

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