“Wonder”–movie review–a wondrous film   Leave a comment


“Wonder” might not win any awards, not even mentioned for any, but it is one of the most heartfelt, moving movies of the year. It is a story of many loves: between a mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son, father and daughter, brother and sister along with what it means to be different.

In this case Auggie was born facial deformities and had to go through many operations to be able to talk, see, hear, among other things. His mother stepped off her path to home school him which was a must due to all the surgeries but decided at the age of 10 Auggie was ready, had to, join the real world and started him at middle school where most of the kids would also be facing a strange world.

Kids can be cruel to each other, especially to those who are different, and Auggie is taunted, classmates being ugly towards him, afraid of touching him thinking he might be contagious, not being friendly to him but ostracizing him, making fun of his looks and generally bullying him. Due to his facial abnormalities he looks forward to Halloween so his face can be covered with the kids not knowing who he is and he can cat, be, one of them.

Based on a best-selling young adult novel by R. J. Palacio and adapted for the screen by Stephen Chbosky, Steven Conrad and Jack Thorne “Wonder” it is a film for everyone who have had to deal with problems, people and just life in general. “Wonder” is about children and adults made for children and adults.

Jacob Tremblay, as Auggie, had a breakout role in “The Room” and follows that up with a different acting challenge meeting it head on and makes Auggie a real child with all the problems a child faces learning, knowing his deformity is just another one. His older sister Via, played superbly by Izabela Vidovic, loves her brother but knows she had to be shunted aside by her parents while Auggie was in and out of hospitals. As he starts middle school she is just starting high school after her best friend, Danielle Rose Russell, returned from a summer away a different person than the one she was. She also meets Nadji Jeter who introduces her to the school theatre group.

Of the other children all come across as children you knew when you went to school. There is Noah Jupe as Jack who befriends Auggie and unknowingly turns his back on him, Bryce Gheisar as Julian the lead bully with his own group of followers who make things worse for Auggie and when Julian is faced with his bullying his parents stand up for him.

When it comes to the adults the principal, Mandy Patinkin and his homeroom teacher Daveed Diggs treat Auggie as just another kid while Ali Liebert, a science teacher, backs Auggie’s interest in science and his class project. Sonia Braga’s cameo as Via’s grandmother has an effective scene with her granddaughter.

Jacob Tremblay is the star of the movie but Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, as parents all kids wish they had, contribute not only as loving, supporting parents but parents who deal with the problems their younger son has to face. They are both warm, strong people yet you see the concern as she sends her boy off to school and the realization that both her children may soon be leaving their home. Wilson is the fun dad, the one who can make his kids live safe and who can act as childish as they do yet let them see how much he also loves their mother.

Director Stephen Chbosky does an excellent job showing the home life, the school life and the social interactions, both negative and positive, between young people, moving smoothly bringing emotional times, looking at and answering hard questions, while showing the most important lessons both kids and adults need to learn.

“Wonder” is a film parents can take their children to without embarrassment and both will be entertained, share recognizable moments from their own relationships with each other and others and during the 133 minutes of the film bringing the audience along for the ride and involve them emotionally.

Wonder trailer


Posted November 29, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES, Uncategorized

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