Wonder sends a strong message to fans in theaters

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Wonder sends a strong message to fans in theaters

www.wonder.movie

www.wonder.movie

www.wonder.movie

Erin Killpatrick, Staff Writer

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Wonder, directed by Stephen Chbosky, was released on November 17. Based on the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, this is an emotional movie that touches upon real issues such as bullying and acceptance. It sends a very powerful message about overcoming differences and the importance of kindness.

Wonder is the story of a young boy named August born with facial defects due to a rare genetic condition. His facial defects make him look different from others and have led to many surgeries. The movie shows the perspective of August, his sister Olivia, August’s friend Jack, and Olivia’s friend Miranda. Each of these kids is struggling in his or her own way and is learning how to deal with life’s problems. 

The movie is different from the book in some ways. In the book, August has a birthday party to which only a few kids come, but in the movie there is no birthday party. There is also a scene in the book where a little boy cries when he sees August getting ice cream at an ice cream stand. This is not in the movie but the moment is referred to. There is another scene in which August goes to his friend’s house and falls asleep on the way home. He wakes up and overhears his parents talking about him starting school. This scene is also not in the movie but there are scenes in the movie that are similar. The scenes they omitted helped the movie focus on the parts of the book that they did include and made the storyline of the movie clearer. 

Even though the movie sends a strong message, it is lighthearted with lots of jokes. Owen Wilson, a popular comic actor, plays August’s dad. His character’s humor adds to the lighthearted atmosphere.  One witty exchange between son and father consists of August’s dad saying he can’t walk August into the school because parents aren’t cool. “But you’re cool,” August replies, to which his father says, “I know, but technically most dads aren’t. This brightens the stressful situation of August going to school for the first time. 

Julia Roberts plays August’s mom. Both Roberts and Wilson do a great job portraying the struggles of raising a child who requires so much attention and care. When August is going off to school, his mom says, “Please let them be nice to him.” Julia Roberts really portrays the worry and hopefulness of a mother well in this scene.

Some parts of the movie were a bit sappy. For example, there is a scene in the lunchroom where Summer, played by Millie Davis, sits with August and he doesn’t believe that she wasn’t forced to sit with him by the principal. They have a small, tacky argument, then make up and move on.

Jacob Tremblay, who plays August Pullman, has to wear a lot of makeup and prostheses to get the look of August. These were well done and looked very realistic. Tremblay does a wonderful job playing August by portraying the struggles of friendship, being an outsider and confidence. August shows strong emotions throughout the movie, crying or yelling and also showing real happiness. For example, August comes home from school one day and cries because he heard someone important to him say mean things about him. Tremblay’s portrayal of these emotions is spot-on.

There are also many cartoon-type drawings of August dreaming of himself being an astronaut to take himself out of a situation when he would rather be somewhere else because, for example, someone is being mean to him or he is being stared at. At one point in the movie, August is walking into school on the first day and everyone is looking at him but August imagines himself as an astronaut and it helps him feel more comfortable. These creative images help one feel connected to August’s drive to chase his dreams.

By watching this movie, the audience learns that it is what on the inside that is important. Some parts of the movie may be a bit tacky, but overall, this heartwarming movie deserves four stars.

8/10

 

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