Wonder won’t fill you totally with wonder but it will leave you feeling slightly warmer than when you walked in on a cold winter’s night! It is Christmas after all and its all about kindness and families, in whatever form they take, that’s the take home message of Wonder. Here’s the single biggest issue with Wonder, if you don’t like it then you’re officially heartless.
Auggie (Jacob Tremblay) is born. We romp through his life – a lille boy wearing an astronaut’s helmet jumping on his bed, telling us how shoes can tell you a lot about people. He has endured 27 operations in his very short life and was homeschooled by his mother Isabel (Julia Roberts). This year is the first year of first grade Auggie will be going to school and whilst that is huge for all children add facial disfigurement and it takes it to a whole new level.
Choose Kind is the measure of the film which is good. For some of us, we will think back to Mask with Cher which had a gritty and multi layered narrative. This is not that film, it is sanitised and the central character and his family are resolutely middle class living in a New York Brown Stone house so a lot of issues that might have come along with having so many operations such as medical expenses are swept under the carpet.
It is a lovely film that doesn’t feel overly long, does what it says on the tin and delivers a timely film in this age of the selfie that it’s not about what you look like but how you act. It does try to pay homage to other coming of age films such as Stand By Me but frankly, that is a blink and miss it. What’s good about the film is that it tells the story from three different points of view. The performances are ok – Julia Roberts smiles and cries in equal measure. The issue with films with child actors is the film’s success rests on how convincing they are. I liked Jacob Tremblay’s performance in Room however, in this film it is a little too much. I actually think the stand out performances were from the supporting child actors.
It’s a great family film for this Christmas season based on the best selling book. Wonder is one of those films that you can go, enjoy and discuss the moral of the film on the way home. Oh, if you cry easily take some tissues, there were other critics who could have filled a couple of empty jugs!
Wonder opened on Friday 1 December in cinemas across the UK.
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