‘Wonder’ Review


Wonder is a family drama film directed by Stephen Chbosky and based on the 2012 novel of the same name as well as the companion book Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio. The film stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, and Jacob Tremblay. The story follows August “Auggie” Pullman, a fifth-grade boy with Treacher Collins syndrome trying to fit at school in upper Manhattan. Wonder is a sweet film that tackles an interesting story. The cast gives strong performances and has terrific chemistry. The family dynamic between the Pullman’s is very believable. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson are fine as Nate and Isabel Pullman. Due to the story focusing mostly on their son they have limited screen time. This is more evident with Wilson as he only appears in family scenes. Nevertheless, they seem like a loving couple in the time we get with them. Izabela Vidovic is great as Auggie’s sister Olivia “Via” Pullman. She shows viewers a silent sense of strength throughout the film. She cares deeply about her brother and deals with the fact that his TCS causes her to be overlooked most of the time. Of course, the standout is Jacob Tremblay. He brings so much emotion to the character of Auggie. It can be hard for any kid to make friends at a new school and you see how especially hard it is for him. He struggles with trusting if he really has friends or if they are taking pity on him. The film has good pacing and doesn’t feel too long. The secondary characters are fleshed out and relatable. The director does a good job at showing how immature children can be and how parenting can be a major cause of said immaturity. Bullying is a major issue that affects many children today. We have all been that age and know how mean we can be. The only issue is that some of the story elements are presented in an obscure way. Part way throughout the film the story switches to someone else’s point of view. This is the aspect of the film that is taken from the companion book Auggie and Me, which tells the events of Wonder from different perspectives. It feels out of place most of the time and often switches abruptly. It’s as if the director tries to get the viewer to care about the tertiary characters more. Since we do not spend a lot of time with them at any other point it feels like wasted time. Also, the random appearances of random Star Wars characters blurred the lines of what was imaginary and what was reality. This was most likely added due to Jacob Tremblay’s love for the franchise. I give Wonder a Decent 8/10. This film teaches everyone to be more open and accepting of people different than them. In doing so you may find out that we are so different after all.

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