The Bull's Eye

Now Showing: Wonder

Amelie Lee, Asst. Feature Editor

If you don’t mind sobbing in a movie theater, the newly released movie “Wonder,” based on the novel by R.J. Palacio, is a good place to do so. An emotionally poignant story about family, love and the importance of kindness, the film had me in wonder and tears throughout the entire movie.

While the movie is advertised as a family film, it revolves around themes that hit home for children and adults alike. Keeping in line with the original novel, the movie’s storyline is emotional, walking the viewer through the struggles of a loving family working their hardest to help their child adjust to difficult circumstances.

Directed by Stephen Chbosky, author of “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Wonder” follows the tale of August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay of “Room”), a ten-year old boy who loves “Star Wars” and dogs, about to start his first day in the fifth grade. Unlike most fifth graders, Auggie has been homeschooled his entire life because of Treacher Collins syndrome, which gives him a facial deformity that raises shocked glances from everyone who sees him.

The film does an impressive job making the viewer feel for every character in the movie. Main characters and secondary ones  are fleshed out in great detail, from Auggie’s stressed out and adoring mother (Julia Roberts) to his teenage sister Via (Izabela Vidovic) who feels as if her needs are pushed aside in lieu of her brother’s.

I was ugly-crying and laughing all at once as the film took me on an emotional rollercoaster. Seeing a 10-year old child being bullied for his looks was absolutely heartbreaking, but the never-ending support from his family and newfound friends made for a wholesome and heartwarming experience. The upbeat soundtrack of the film kept me hopeful as well, and I was a little disappointed that parts of the movie went without music.

The casting of the film is also impressive, as each actor and actress fits the age range of the character they play. Seeing an actual 10-year old boy play  a fifth grader and a sixteen-year girl as a high school student was a refreshing take compared to seeing a famous actor in their mid-twenties shoved into a high school setting. Despite their young age, each actor was still able to portray the emotional depth expected from them, and gave realistic performances for the difficult situations they were placed in.

Overall, the film provides a sense of hope and feel-good emotions that followed me home for the rest of the night. The movie boils down to one simple statement Auggie’s teacher (Daveed Diggs) proclaims in the beginning of the movie: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

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