Within the past year, there have been some major box office hits, such as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, the live action fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”, and the remake of “Baywatch”. However, not a lot of these movies have had as much of an impact on viewing audiences as the new 2017 film “Wonder”.
Based on the novel written by author and graphic designer R.J. Palacio, “Wonder” tells the life-changing story of a ten year old boy named August “Auggie” Pullman, who was born with mandibulofacial dysostosis, more commonly known as Treacher Collins Syndrome. Up until age ten, Auggie’s mother Isabel was homeschooling him until he made the choice to switch to public school. In the movie, Auggie endures bullying and criticism for his facial deformity and goes on a life journey to seek confidence and self-love for his differences.
In this movie, audiences learn about the major bullying epidemic happening in our society today, but also learn about ways to help diminish the criticism. Much like the characters in the film, viewers can’t help but experience some sort of want-to-help feeling towards Auggie. Personally, I wanted to reach through the screen and give him a big bear hug, but that’s just me. With this film, viewers grasp the understanding of the effect of our words and actions towards others, but contrast to show how one kind little action can make a difference. For example, in the movie, Auggie sits by himself in the cafeteria on the first day of school. However, the first kid to go against status quo and sit next to Auggie at the lunch table is named Jack Will, and this character quickly makes a friend for life, just because he sat by Auggie one day in a middle school lunchroom.
Not only do audiences live a day in the life of Auggie, but we also see points of view from other characters as well, such as Auggie’s dad Nate, his mom Isabel, his sister Via, among many other personalities that are experiencing life with Auggie. I’m not going to lie, I may have cried a couple of times throughout this movie due to the intense feelings this film shares. When Via performs her part in the school production of the play “Our Town” – Oh boy. MAJOR tear jerker. All I’m saying is: bring tissues, because this story will absolutely tug on your heart strings if you’re a softy like me.
Jacob Tremblay, a newcomer to the Hollywood scene, does a great job at embodying Auggie’s personality and for bringing this book to life. However, he couldn’t have done it without his amazing, star studded movie parents, with Julia Roberts playing the role of Isabel and Owen Wilson playing Nate. Fresh faces like Izabela Vidovic who stars in the role of Via and Noah Jupe who plays Jack Will, are great additions to the film and make the movie that much more enjoyable.
I promise, this movie will not disappoint. I can almost guarantee that you won’t “wonder” why you spent the money to see this film. “Choose kind”, and go see this movie in theaters.