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Preferring to hide in the safety of his own private world, Nathan (Asa Butterfield) struggles to connect with people, often pushing away those who want to be closest to him, including his mother, Julie (Sally Hawkins). Without the ability to understand love or affection, Nathan finds the comfort and security he needs in numbers and mathematics. Mentored by his unconventional teacher, Mr Humphreys (Rafe Spall), it becomes clear that Nathan’s talents are enough to win him a place on the British team competing at the 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. Although, 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 (Jo Yang).