Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

“If beauty is truth and truth beauty, then maths must be the most beautiful thing in the world.”

A pastiche of gorgeous, even sumptuous color and pattern nevertheless maintains a slight emotional buffer, a thin and transparent but ever-present barrier between beauty and the sensation of experiencing that beauty. Drops of red, red blood—redder than a stop light or the red lorry that runs it—retain a rare, fragile beauty, even as it’s clear what they represent. The camera often settles just shy of the expected distance, or just a little too close or too far too the side, and we see things, maybe, perhaps at least a bit, the way Nathan does. Nathan’s a math genius, and on the spectrum. But A Brilliant Young Mind is not a triumph-of-the-savant film, and it’s not about colors. Plot-wise, in fact, it’s pleasantly familiar. Nathan (Asa Butterfield, best known from Hugo) convenes with a veritable nerd convention—musical, mathematical, acerbic, semi-cool, insufferable, autistic, and garden-variety—to pursue a slot at the Internationals Math Olympics. They, and the adults around them, go through their sometimes routine, sometimes extraordinary days trying to figure out how to navigate relationships when relationships are far more inscrutable than the math problems they’re bent on solving.

{A Brilliant Young Mind screens at SIFF 5/28, at 4pm at The Harvard Exit.}