Based on the New York Times bestseller, this movie tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters the fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
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
For those unfamiliar with the play "Our Town", it has certain similarities to this film as it shares vignettes of various characters at various points in their lives, including both happy times and sad. In the play, Via is in the role of a character who, during the course of the story, changes from a girl to a married woman. She dies when giving birth to her second child, but later returns to the stage to revisit a wonderful day when she was twelve years old. Her goodbye speech takes place shortly before she joins the other characters in the play who had passed away over the years. Sharing certain themes with the film, the town has similarities to the characters and their relationships in this film, including the family dog. See more »
In scenes that take place in the month of February, there are green leaves on the trees. The film takes place in New York. See more »
You feel like you're all alone here, but you're not!
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Cute, but weirdly contrived and confused with its messages
Here's the thing - the film is asking you to see the real person inside, to offer kindness because 'everyone's fighting a battle'.
Yet, as soon as Auggie is introduced to fellow classmates, his overly-cutesy narration goes "you can tell a lot about people by their shoes". Camera pans down. "The trust fund kid. The hand-me- down kid. The crazy one" (cut to clip of the girl being attention seeking, as if to reinforce Auggie's assumptions). The audience is supposed to lol along.
How is this fair? Immediately Auggie is stereotyping kids before they've even spoken, something he himself is plagued by.
Similarly, it then introduces one bully after another, always 'curing' the first bully (with a message of "hey - with a bit of kindness, even bullies turn happy and become your best friend!") before moving onto the next. Of course, despite all this "see the real person inside" malarky, the film can't help but introduce some 'super-bullies' (older 7th graders!) who the kids delight in beating up as they 'bond' as new found friends.
Then, Auggie receives a recognition prize despite all the other kids being the ones who help him - often having to fight against his negative expectations and assumptions of their agenda.
Its very confused and jarring in its messages. Wonder is absolutely your 'safe' family film where everyone bumbles along to happy- plinky-plonky piano music, and any problems are soon solved with a hug. It takes place in an ideal world where anxieties, insecurities, bullies, and all complex human issues are solved via simplistic and contrived 'fixes' (normally involving hugs).
I would like to say this doesn't matter because kids and families just want light entertainment - but I think it really does matter. Films have so much more power to inspire and share human truths and complexities, there's no real point in just passing the time with something so shallow.
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