Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
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Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie's extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can't blend in when you were born to stand out. Written by
Give a standing ovation to "Wonder": This movie is full of...well, wonder.
Have you ever felt like you were the same as everybody else, but you were also different from the world? 10-year-old Auggie Pullman will tell you that while he feels extraordinary on the inside, outside, he doesn't feel like that. He feels lonely, invisible to everyone around him. I guess, maybe we all feel like that sometimes. Maybe we're outsiders trying to leave a mark on the world, just like Auggie. Which is why "Wonder" appeals to the underdogs in all of us. This beautiful book, which came from the riveting and honest imagination of author R.J. Palacio, has touched the lives of millions of readers of all ages (I'm one of those readers). Now, with the help of co-writer/director Stephen Chbosky (Author/screenwriter/director of one of my favorite tales, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", Co-writer of Disney's astonishing live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast"), I can't imagine anyone, kid or adult, ever being disappointed with this endearing adaptation of a beloved book that has great messages of never judging a person by their looks and to always choose kind, which is something that we all need to learn from in this day and age. With convincing prosthetics and makeup that makes look nearly unrecognizable, the wondrous Jacob Tremblay from "Room" and "The Book of Henry" is brilliant as Auggie. He has Treacher-Collins Syndrome (a craniofacial disorder) and has survived 27 surgeries. After being home-schooled for half his life by his mom, Isabel (Julia Roberts. still luminous and radiant as ever), he is sent to public school for the first time, with a little help from her, his dad, Nate (Owen Wilson) and his sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic), who has always been there for him. As soon as he goes to school, he immediately gets picked on and bullied because of his appearance. Some kids, including Jack Will (Noah Jupe) and Summer (Millie Davis) accepts him for who he is. Even some of the staff, including English teacher, Mr. Browne (Daveed Diggs from "Hamilton") and the principal, Mr. Tushman (Mandy Patinkin) cares for him. But some, including bully Julian (Bryce Gheisar), don't like him. As the story progresses, we get to see the different perspectives of each of the characters, family and friends, who will leave an impact in Auggie's life in moments that are good and bad. Only then, Auggie will unlock the power of acceptance and friendship in order for him to truly find his place in the world. "Wonder" is a tough-minded film that reminded so much of how I used to love the classic family films I grew up with. A movie that doesn't dwell on special effects, talking animals or a big budget, but has deeper thoughts and real themes that enthralls the inner kid in all of us. It's moving, funny and tenderhearted in an authentic way that shows us that we have to see through the eyes and soul of another person, rather than seeing what that person looks like. It also helps by having a great writer/director and a terrific, well-chosen cast (including poignant turns from Danielle Rose Russell and Nadji Jeter, who plays Via's friend and first love, respectfully and a brief cameo from Sonia Braga as the Pullmans' grandmother) who care for this story that it never goes over the top with the emotions and it never goes down a conventional, melodramatic and saccharine path. Every moment of emotion fits like a puzzle and convincingly flows in every scene. Auggie said, "We all deserve a standing ovation at least once in our lives." I say, we should all give a standing ovation to both book and movie of "Wonder", because like its characters that gets their moments of pure humanity and, of course, dear little Auggie, this story is a wonder. I will never forget this movie and I hope that families around the world who have always wanted to stand out from the crowd, no matter how different they are, will do the same.
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