Review: Wonder (2017)

Wonder is one of those movies that reminds you to love the little things in life. Based on the New York Times bestseller, Wonder is full of heart, it’s inspiring, and just makes you feel good to be alive when you walk out of a theatre. There are many ways escapism works when you go to the movies and this film provides you with a reminder that even through the hard times we could be facing in our world today, it is possible to be happy and that positive attitude can be contagious to others.

This feel good movie involves Jacob Tremblay (Room) as Auggie, a boy who is entering the fifth grade after being homeschooled by his mother, Isabel, played by Julia Roberts. This is his first time going to a public school which should be exciting for a kid but Auggie is a unique individual who has facial differences. Auggie and his family also including his Father, Nate (Owen Wilson), and sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic) are concerned with how people will receive him because he looks different.

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picture via movieinsider.com

I love this movie a lot. Reminds me a lot of Simon Birch which was a bit similar to this one where a unique and wonderful human being different from most kids manage to inspire those around him with his confidence and ways of looking at the world. Auggie’s character is just like that. Using a space helmet to hide his appearance may seem like he is hiding from the world but in the and he generally loves himself and isn’t ashamed of how he looks. His empathy towards others shined through more trying not to make others uncomfortable because he believed the world wasn’t ready to see him. He used it to protect himself but also his family. Auggie has a huge heart for others and those emotions shine through his voice, expressions, and actions. Well played by Tremblay.

I never read the book so the format and pace of the film became a shock to me. One of the biggest messages this movie conveyed was told through the structure of the film. Basically, the movie jumped through the same timeline through the eyes of different characters around him. The same timeline isn’t played through the whole movie but there are chapters that are told and the intro to these characters starts on or prior to Auggie’s first day of school. My face lit up by this idea because it shows that even though Auggie and what he is going through takes center stage, he is not the only one who is going through something in life. All of his close relative and soon to be new friends have problems they face just like any other human being. It was nice to know that while Auggie is going through something huge in his young life, that it is important to recognize that he is not the only one who is growing up and dealing with life. Being “normal” isn’t perfect either. Also showcasing that what Auggie is going through affects those around him, especially his family.

I am sure that parents will definitely be able to relate to the nervous heart stopping moment of sending your child to school for the first time. I can’t imagine but I am sure it is nerve-wracking. In addition to parents, anyone who feels that they are different will be able to relate to this film. I think that young children and preteens can benefit from this film as well. Children are becoming more of central characters in films lately and it’s nice to see them sit in the front while the adults take a back seat. The young actors picked for this film are some talented bunch of kids. 

These characters go through plenty of tough human trials from all generations of life. Touching on subjects like bullying, first loves, acceptance, following your dreams, making a change, and forgiveness. So, we get a lot of character development from the supporting characters in the film which did nothing but make this movie even more entertaining and fun to watch.

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picture via flickeringmyth.com

I highly recommend this film as it will make you laugh, cry, smile, and possibly make you appreciate the things and people you have in your life. As I am writing this post, I notice I sound very sappy, cheesy, and maybe even hokey. That is okay, it is how I felt walking out of the film. This is one of the feel good movies of 2017. To those that feel it may be a little to cheesy or “Care Bare” like, this movie may not be for you. At least not right away in theatres. What I will say is that, if you pay attention to the award ceremonies, Golden Globes, Oscars, etc. You may want to watch this movie while in theatres. I have a feeling there are nominations in its future. My predictions anyways for adapted screenplay or maybe some acting nominations. For those who love a good cry and are into family comedies and dramas, this will not disappoint you one bit. Are you a fan of the other feel good movie of 2017, A Dog’s Purpose? Then, you will enjoy this feature as well. It does seem a little long as there were a couple of scenes that seemed like it would have been the end but it just had more story to tell. Otherwise, you have a good movie to help you recognize that it is okay to be different. It is okay to be curious about people who are different. Don’t fear what you don’t understand. Take a risk and open up to those that may hurt you. Definitely stay true to yourself through and through. Again, another film to escape and remember there are good and inspiring people in the world. 

5 out of 5

I hope you enjoyed my review of Wonder, please leave your thoughts on the movie in the comments and if you happen to agree or disagree with how this adapted story played out. I will see you at the movies. 

title picture via imdb.com
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