‘Wonder’ Movie Review – You should absolutely take the family to see it.

Wonder Julia Roberts Jacob Tremblay

You should absolutely take the family to see “Wonder.” Based on the New York Times bestseller by R. J. Palacio, WONDER tells the 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 after being homeschooled.

The story deals with topics and situations that practically every child (and parent) has experienced. Though bullying and other offensive behaviors exist among kids in today’s society, Palacio puts them in a story that encompasses all of them; awkwardness, aggression, lack of compassion, friendship, loyalty, peer pressure, and intolerance.

Movie Synopsis

Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the 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 find 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.

The classroom and schoolyard are intimidating places for normal kids. Just imagine what a child who isn’t normal-looking has to endure. These issues are well represented by each of the characters in “Wonder.” Auggie Pullman is the main character and is deformed from birth, but his deformity can be interpreted to represent children who have all sorts of differences; race, religion, handicaps, or backgrounds, and who have been mistreated by their peers.


The lessons that can be drawn from this film are timely. “Wonder” is the type of movie that can open the dialogue about the unpleasant behaviors kids exhibit away from adult supervision. Things like name-calling, spreading rumors, and downright meanness are all too common among school-aged kids. This film illustrates the insensitivity of these actions.  But this film can also help kids to see the sense of compassion that seems to be lacking in our schools today. Kids can choose to be kind to one another — no matter what anyone looks like – and choosing to be kind begins at home.

Wonder

Personally, I loved the message this film has for audiences of today. However, it is a little overdramatic and kids may find it a little sad.

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read what follows if you don’t want to know what happens in the movie!

Some scenes in this movie will be heart wrenching. There’s a particular scene that I think could have been left out entirely since the movie is already full of difficult moments. Daisy, the Pullman’s family dog, suddenly and inexplicably, gets sick and dies. We’re not given any explanation about what happened to the pooch except that it’s there one day, and the next it’s not.

Wonder Julia Roberts Jacob Tremblay

Parents will feel the tug when Auggie is mistreated by kids at middle school – especially if their own child has gone through any of the nastiness that characterizes middle school aged kids. Via, Auggie’s older sister is in high school, and also has to deal with her own miserable social situation; her best friend, Miranda, abandons her before the first day of high school. Though this may be a more familiar situation for many, it adds to the over-dramatization of the film. However, it helps us to understand that every family member is going through something.

In the end, there’s vindication for the characters, something I wish happened for kids in real life. But what we can take away from this film is that it takes courage to recognize a wrong and correct it. And it’s the courage to stand up for what is right that is best represented in the film, “Wonder.”

Wonder

Rated PG

Runtime 113 Minutes

 

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