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Wonderstruck (2017)

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Tells the tale of two children separated by fifty years. In 1927, Rose searches for the actress whose life she chronicles in her scrapbook; in 1977, Ben runs away from home to find his father.

Director:

Todd Haynes

Writers:

Brian Selznick (screenplay by), Brian Selznick (based on the book by)
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Popularity
4,435 ( 391)
1 win & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Millicent Simmonds ... Rose
Julianne Moore ... Lillian Mayhew / Rose
Cory Michael Smith ... Walter
James Urbaniak ... Dr. Kincaid, Rose's Father
Damian Young ... Otto, Museum Guard
Patrick Murney ... Workman
Lauren Ridloff ... Pearl, The Maid
Anthony Natale ... Dr. Gill, Teacher of the Deaf
Carole Addabbo Carole Addabbo ... Miss Conrad at the Museum
Howard Seago Howard Seago ... Remy Rubin, Theater Director
Brian Berrebbi ... Stage Manager
John P. McGinty ... Valentin (as John McGinty)
Mark A. Keeton Mark A. Keeton ... Shopkeeper
Patrick Wiley ... Window Dresser
Garrett Zuercher ... Officer Engel
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Storyline

The film interlaces two stories set fifty years apart, switching frequently between them. Each tells the story of a child's quest. In 1927, Rose runs away from her father's New Jersey home to find her mother/idol, the actress Lillian Mayhew. In 1977, recently orphaned Ben runs away from his Minnesota home in search of his father..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

20 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Muzej čudesa See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,882, 22 October 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,033,632, 10 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book, the story of Rose is told alternatively without text, but with graphics to allow the readers' to experience Rose's story in the same way she felt escaping to New York City through her eyes and the silence of her life. See more »

Goofs

When Ben enters the rotunda of the American Museum of Natural History, he walks past the mounted skeletons of the Allosaurus attacking a Barosaurus defending its young, as seen in the museum today. However, this exhibit was not mounted until 1991, and wouldn't have been seen in 1977. See more »

Quotes

Ben: How do you know my name?
See more »


Soundtracks

Also Sprach Zarathustra
Written by Richard Strauss (as Richard De Strauss)
Arranged by Eumir Deodato
Performed by Eumir Deodato (as Deodato)
Courtesy of Legacy Recordings
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Courtesy of King Record Co., Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
right there with you
26 October 2017 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. If you know an adolescent who is ready to step up from comic book movies, this would be a terrific introduction to more emotionally dramatic and narrative-driven cinema. That's certainly not meant to imply that director Todd Haynes' latest is only for kids, or even that it's aimed at that demographic. Instead, it's the rare opportunity to follow two intersecting story lines over two different time periods with kids as the main focus, and have some very interesting post-movie discussions related to characters, eras, and filmmaking techniques.

We follow the stories of two kids who are separated by 50 years. Although the time boundary exists, the similarities between their journeys are many. Each is running away from home in search of their roots and identity. They are both hearing-impaired and living in less than ideal family environments. Additionally, their footsteps cross many of the same places in New York City as two museums play key roles.

Ben (Oakes Fegley, PETE'S DRAGON) is a 12 year old living in Gunflint, Minnesota. It's 1977 when his mother (Michelle Williams) dies unexpectedly and a freak accident takes his hearing. Convinced an odd bookmark is a clue to finding the father he's never met, Ben sets off for New York City. Rose (remarkable first time actress Millicent Simmonds) lives in 1927 Hoboken, New Jersey and is obsessed with silent screen star Lillian Mayhew (Julianne Moore in a dual role). Rose is an artistic child whose domineering dad has little time for her, so she hops aboard the ferry and heads to the big city to track down an idol - who may be more closely tied than we first imagine.

Brian Selznick adapted the screenplay from his own novel (he also wrote "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", which was the basis for Scorcese's HUGO), and some may find the two story lines muddled or difficult to follow. However, for those who connect with the characters and their adventures, it's a fascinating and entertaining ride. Director Todd Haynes (FAR FROM HEAVEN, CAROL) has established his expertise in visual stylings, and here he gets to present two distinct looks for the separate eras. Ben's 1977 world is filled with the polyester and neon colors of that era and it's even given the washed-out look of 1970's cinema. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Rose's 1927 world is presented in black and white as a silent movie. The lack of dialogue allows us to focus on her facial expressions and body language, which tell us what we need to know.

The American Museum of Natural History plays a significant role in both stories, and the Queens Museum is central to the finale which ties up the two pieces for us. The contrasts of the two eras are as vital as the similarities. Along the way, each of the kids gets a bit of help. Ben befriends Jamie (Jaden Michael) whose connection to the museum and the city provides Ben a boost, while Rose's much older brother Walter (Cory Michael Smith) also has a connection to the museum and helps put Rose on the right track. The distinct photographic styles help us easily switch between eras, and much credit goes to cinematographer (and frequent Haynes collaborator) Edward Lachman and editor Affonso Goncalves.

Oscar Wilde's quote, "We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars", takes its shot as the theme for the two stories, and really it's a heartfelt film with interesting storytelling and unusual cinematic effects. The set design is terrific throughout, and especially vital during the silent movie segments of Rose's story. Carter Burwell's prominent score also effectively shifts styles between stories and eras. The ties that bind us – a core need to understand our roots – do so regardless of age and time period. This is a nifty little film that provides much to discuss and consider.


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