Wonder is a beautiful story about an ugly duckling.
Jacob Tremblay (Room) is Auggie. He’s 10-years old, home schooled and enters public school for the first time in the fifth grade. Auggie is born with a facial deformity called mandibulofacial dysostosis.
Facially, Auggie is a freak.
His first year in public school and how it impacts him, friends he makes and his family is the subject of the film based on R.J. Palacio’s best-selling novel. Bullying and what really makes someone beautiful are the story’s underlying themes.
Tremblay is maybe the best kid actor working today. His work in Room got him critical accolades and award nominations. This film will do the same. Equally good are co-stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Izabela Vidovic who play his parents and sister.
Wonder also features wonderful performances from young actors who play Auggie’s school mates, friends and enemies.
It’s directed and co-written by Steven Chbosky, who penned Beauty and the Beast and the acclaimed teen-angst flick The Perks of a Wallflower. He’s a most excellent storyteller.
Telling you much more isn’t necessary. Between the film’s opening credits and closing scenes you will laugh, smile and be inspired, and there may even be tears. At the same time, things happen within the story that will anger and horrify you.
This is a must-see for everyone, but especially for pre-teens and teens. Take a hanky or two. You may need them. Wonder is definitely the feel-good movie of the year.
Movie name: ‘Wonder’
Director: Steven Chbosky
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy Patinkin, Noah Jupe, Millie Davis, Nadji Jeter, Bryce Gheisar
Mr. Movie rating: Rated PG for mature themes. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
Rating: 5 out of 5
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.