Bullying has been an issue for decades. Over time, people and schools have truly tried to deal with the issue, but because we are human, kids at school can be emotionally brutal, even when they don’t mean to be. There have been talks of what kind of damage can truly be done by it, and in some cases as time goes by, some people look back and are sorry for what they did as kids.
“Wonder” is the new film directed by Stephen Chbosky (The Four Corners of Nowhere, The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Starring Jacob Tremblay (Room, Before I wake), Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Closer), Owen Wilson (Cars, Night at the Museum), Izabela Vidovic (Homefront, The Fosters), Noah Jupe (The Night Manager, Suburbicon), Elle McKinnon (Travelers, Hit the Road), Bryce Gheisar (A Dog’s Purpose, Walk the Prank), Danielle Rose Russell (Aloha, Pandemic), and Mandy Patinkin (Homeland, Broken Glass). It is the story of Auggie (Tremblay), a normal child except for the issue of a gene deformity that makes his face look unusual. After twenty-one operations, he still has an abnormal look, but his loving family in his mother Isabel (Roberts), father Nate (Wilson), and sister Via (Vidovic), Auggie’s imagination is encouraged and his thirst for knowledge has been fostered through being home schooled. Auggie’s parents do finally decide that they want him to go to a normal school as he approaches fifth grade, and this presents the obvious challenges of bullying from a bunch of boys lead by Julian (Gheisar). Over time, the other kids start to see that Auggie is an overall great kid and really strikes a friendship with Jack (Jupe), which leads to dealing with issues of looking different, dealing with bullying, family issues, and life a kid.
The film is based in New York, and shows the city well without it being to in-your-face. Taking place for the most part at the school and Auggie’s home, it shows those locations well. The make-up for Trembley is very well done, as in in the movie “Mask,” where the abnormality is there, but overtime I got used to it. When it comes to the acting, I have to give it to Tremblay! He plays the part well of being a shy and scared child and is able to open up once the kids get to know him. The supporting cast of Roberts, Vidovic, and Wilson do great in their roles as his family as well as the child stars including Jupe as his best friend and Gheisar as the bully.
Now to the plot and storyline: I LOVED IT!! “Wonder” is about an hour and forty minutes, which was the right length as the film did not drag and truly kept me interested. The character of Auggie, believe it or not, reminds me on my loving wife, The Fantastic Faith Ford in that she is a quiet person if she does not know you or in a group of people she does not know, but once she gets to know you, she is an open, fun and enjoyable person, especially if you are her friend. This film also took me through the whole spectrum of emotions from sadness to anger, joy, and laughter. I even saw many people tear up when I did the press screening. If you do not like this film, you may have no soul or are a Communist, so yes, I will definitely recommend this film! This film, without a doubt gets the coveted full price in the theaters recommendation and will probably make my top ten of the year’s best films! Plain and simple: you and your family need to see this film!!!