I rarely get to the cinema these days, but made a special effort when the film X + Y came out as I'd heard how good it was going to be.
Now it's out on DVD - I wouldn't normally review a film on the blog but I thought it may be of interest to readers as the main character is said to have Asperger's Syndrome (a type of Autistic Spectrum Disorder). You can see a clip and read more about the story at www.xplusymovie.com.
Asa Butterfield plays the part of Nathan, a boy who loses his Dad in a car accident at a young age, a short time after receiving the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. It's very clear to see how strong the bond between Nathan and his Dad was, and we see his Mum try to replicate that as Nathan grows up. It was very touching to see how much she wanted to help and understand him whilst dealing with her own loss and loneliness.
Nathan finds a great tutor who inspires him with maths, and he travels to Taipei as part of a school team to take part in a Maths Olympiad. Unsurprisingly, most of the others on the maths team are somewhat quirky alongside their excellence in maths, but it was good to see a variety of characters portrayed and that the film didn't just stick to the stereotypes. The point during a meal when one of the other characters tried to get involved with everyone socially by repeating lines he'd learnt from a favourite film hit home a bit for me though, as I could see our girl doing similar. Bullying is also shown, something which is bound to happen with any group of teenagers as they have a knack of weeding out the ones who fit in the least well.
It's a British film, based on a true story. It focused a lot on social relationships, which is of course one of the biggest areas of difficulty for many autistic adults and children. I hope that plenty of neurotypical people will also watch this, as I think it helps with understanding in a subtle way. The actors were all brilliant, and I was well and truly engrossed which doesn't happen all that often. Go and buy it now, you won't be disappointed!
This film is a 12 and I definitely think you'd want to watch it first as parents before letting children view it, as can be quite emotional and also covers some aspects of self-harm.
Disclosure: I was sent this film on DVD for the purposes of this review, along with some maths equipment and a great book about maths (who knew such a thing existed?!) but all views and opinions are my own.